Sunday, August 8, 2010

Peach Shortcakes

This has been a week of baking mistakes! My week began on Monday when I drove out to one of the local flea markets that also sells but great produce! When I say cheap, or rather inexpensive, I mean about ten pounds of the most delicious peaches for two dollars! That's a great deal. But that was the week before.
But last Monday, knowing how great these peaches were, I bought twenty pounds this time. Double the amount. But it wasn't til I got home that I realized I had bought twenty pounds of white peaches! Now, I have nothing against white peaches. These were as delicious as all the others, mind you, but they were white! And white peaches just don't have the flavor of yellow peaches for baking. We've been eating alot of peaches this week around here!

But I digress..back to the mistakes. So as I was saying, maybe it was a sign of things to come!( Or maybe it was a sign I should have spent this week at the beach!).
I made a lemon sponge cake that you're never going to see, and some lime cookies that you roll up and freeze, then slice and bake, also trashed. (And can I just say I have a strong dislike for slice and bake cookies! But more on that at a later time.) And there were several others but eventually I baked my way out of this mess and found a shortcake recipe in an older issue of Martha Stewart's "Living" Magazine and changed it around a bit. Quite a bit! Actually it's nothing like the original! But it was the cake part I liked and used so..thanks Martha!
I cut shapes out of the cake and layered fresh peach slices with whipped cream for a quick and delicious dessert. You can use any fresh fruit, such as strawberries, blueberries or raspberries.

Begin by whisking the dry ingredients in a bowl.

Then cream the butter and sugar in a mixer bowl til pale and fluffy.
Beat in the lemon zest and vanilla.
Add the eggs and beat well after each addition.
Beat in the flour mixture alternating with the milk.

Spread into your prepared pan and bake 15 to 17 minutes.
Cool in baking sheet on wire rack. ( I halved the recipe and used an 8" pan).

Sheet Pound Cake for Fruit shortcakes, ( adapted from Martha Stewart recipe)

Makes one 9" x 13" cake
Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 cup AP flour, plus more for sheet pan
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 ozs. ( 5 tbsp.) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest, optional, ( but I think needed)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
1/3 cup whole milk
Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 9" x 13" rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray, then line with parchment. Dust with flour, tapping out excess.
1. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
2. Cream butter and sugar in a mixer bowl til pale and fluffy.
3. Beat in zest, if using and vanilla.
4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
5. Reduce speed to medium and beat in flour mixture in 2 additions, alternating with milk.
6. Spread batter into prepared sheet pan and bake til tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool in sheet pan on wire rack.
Once cooled, cut round shapes out of the cake using a cookie cutter or just cut into squares with a knife, (but shapes are more fun!). I even used a tiny heart shape for the top.
Then place the cake onto a pretty plate, then just make layers of fresh whipped cream and sliced fruit. It looks pretty and it's quick and easy. I do love the whipped cream but ice cream would also be great!

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