By Cat, September 2011 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)
Includes: 1. Peach Melba Shortcake; 2. Peaches & Cream Shortcake; See also: 1. Shortcake Biscuits; 2. Pound Cake; 3. Gênoise; 4. Peach Melba Cobbler 5. Cakes & Tortes Menu; 6. Cobblers, Shortcakes & Crisps Menu
Who doesn’t like shortcake served with fresh fruit of the season? Strawberry Shortcake is perhaps the best known: fresh strawberries sweetened with a bit of sugar, and thick Whipped Cream. But there are many other toppings you can use. My favorites, included here, involve peaches. My peach melba shortcake is a favorite with my old Portland friends.
Peach Melba Shortcake
I’ve adapted this from a recipe on Food Network (1), but I’ve reduced it from 8 to 4 servings. The peaches are first poached in a sugar water which requires a lot of sugar. I’d like to use stevia extract liquid for part of the sugar, and will update this after I’ve tested that option – if it works.
See also my related recipe: Peach Melba Cobbler.
Ingredients & Equipment:
- 1 recipe Shortcake Biscuits
- 1 recipe Whipped Cream
- 1 ½ cups water (or enough to cover peach halves in saucepan)
- 1 ½ cups sugar (or 1 tsp stevia liquid extract, and ½ cup sugar – not yet tested)
- ¼-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated (optional)
- 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 – 4 fresh peaches (or 10-oz. bag of frozen peaches, thawed), enough to make 1 ½ – 2 cups sliced peaches
- Raspberry puree
- 1 ½ cup fresh raspberries (or 10-oz. bag frozen raspberries, thawed)
- 2 Tbsp Rapadura powdered sugar (or scant 1/8 tsp stevia extract powder)
- 1 ½ tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- wide saucepan
- blender or food processor
- Raspberry puree: Puree berries, stevia/powdered sugar, and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Pass through sieve to remove seeds.
- When cool enough to handle, remove stone (if not removed earlier), then cut into wedges.
- Meanwhile, cut peaches in half and remove stones (if they remove easily; otherwise, they can be removed later). Poach in the sugar syrup for 2 – 3 minutes on each side, depending on their ripeness. Test cut side with the sharp point of a knife; when soft, remove them to a plate with slotted spoon.
- Place water, stevia/sugar, lemon juice and optional ginger into wide saucepan, and heat gently to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil and let it bubble about 5 minutes, then reduce to a fast simmer.
- Poached peaches: Peel and mince fresh ginger (optional).
- Prepare biscuits. While they are cooling, whip the cream and prepare fruit.
- To serve: Slice biscuits in half horizontally. Place bottom halves on serving plates. Arrange peach slices over each, and add small spoonfull of raspberry puree, leaving half of the puree for the top. Place top of biscuit on top, then add a good dollop of whipped cream. Spoon remaining puree over the whipped cream.
- Prepare to be dazzled!
Peaches & Cream Shortcake
Ingredients & Equipment:
- 1 recipe Rich Shortcake
- ½ cup Rapadura sugar
- ¼ cup filtered water
- 1 Tbsp amaretto liqueur
- 4 large peaches (about 1 ½ lb)
- Honey whipped cream:
- 1 ½ cups cold, heavy cream
- 5 Tbsp raw local honey
- Equipment for Peaches:
- small heavy-bottomed saucepan
- pot for boiling water and bowl for ice bath, if needed
- medium bowl
- Equipment for Whipped Cream:
- chilled bowl
- hand beater
- Marinate peaches: While biscuits are cooling, combine Rapadura and water in saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat and let cool before stirring in amaretto.
- Meanwhile, remove peels from peaches. If they don’t peel easily, bring a pot of water to a boil; prepare a bowl of ice-water Cut a small X in the pointy end of the peaches. Dip each in boiling water for a minute, then plunge into ice water to cool them enough to handle. Then starting at the X, gently remove peel.
- Halve lengthwise and remove pits. Slice each half into ½” pieces and combine in a medium-size bowl. Pour cooled sugar/amaretto water over peaches, and stir gently to coat each slice. Cover bowl tightly and marinate in fridge 30-minutes to 2 hours.
- Whipped Cream: Pour cream into chilled bowl and whip with hand mixer until it thickens slightly. Turn off mixer and add honey, scraping down the sides of the bowl to push honey into cream. Whip on medium-high until it will hold soft peaks. Use right away, so don’t make until ready to serve.
Assembly or Serving Suggestions
- Slice each biscuit in half, horizontally, with serrated knife. Set each bottom half on a dessert plate. Spoon about ⅛ of the peaches on top, then spoon generous amount of whipped cream over the peaches. Top with the top half of biscuit and spoon about 1 Tbsp of whipped cream on top of that.
7/4/16: I wanted a peach-melba topping for holiday shortcakes but didn’t want a lot of sugar and didn’t have a lot of time. So I made the Peaches and Cream Shortcake topping, as a quarter-recipe, but using part sugar and part stevia as follows: 1 Tbsp water and 1 Tbsp Rapadura sugar plus 1 tsp stevia extract cut with inulin, and 1/8 tsp powdered ginger, brought to a boil, then cooled before adding 1 tsp rum (I didn’t have any liqueur). Stirred into cut-up fresh peach and ½ cup fresh raspberries from my garden, then placed into fridge to marinate about 8 hours. Served with rich, whole wheat shortcakes (made with pre-soak method), whipped cream sweetened lightly with stevia. Excellent! shortcakes have nice texture and flavor; fruit and marinade has nice flavor with just a hint of ginger.
- Food Network recipe (foodnetwork.com/recipes/nigella-lawson/peach-melba-recipe/index.html)
- Fine Cooking recipe, originally by Carole Blum (finecooking.com/recipes/peaches-cream-shortcake-biscuits.aspx)
- Home Baking Made Easy, by Virginia Roberts, Director Occident Home Baking Institute, 1944 (see also Beloved Cookbooks)