Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Blueberry & Lemon Shortcake

There are plenty of things that make me feel better when I am sick. And since I am currently suffering from some sort of mysterious bug, I am clinging to those comforting things like crazy. In case you didn't already guess, scones is one of them. But this isn't really a scone. It's a shortcake, which seems to be a very confused dessert. I've seen it made with scone/biscuit bases, sponge cake and somtimes even pastry. But for me, I always imagine it as being closer to a scone than anything else. With loads of freshly whipped cream.
So how did this blueberry shortcake come about? Why not a regular old strawberry shortcake? Well I was sitting in bed watching an old Gilmore Girls episode (another comfort thing which makes A's eyes roll with the super girly fast talking) and they were going on and on about blueberry shortcakes. And it sounded really darn appealing to me. Plus I had a huge stash of super cheap fresh blueberries that I picked up from the supermarket. The only thing that made it complete for me was the addition of a ton of lemon zest to the dough to give it a little zing. Oh and in case you are wondering, that stray blueberry wasn't some sort of attempt at food styling, it just rolled off my spoon as I was placing it on top of the shortcake and so I shrugged and went, "Meh, it will do."
As crazy as it sounds, baking scones, or something close to scones makes me feel better when I'm sick. I've done it so much I can do it stress-free and without any extra thought. It's almost therapeutic. And these shortcakes turned out just as I'd hoped, golden and buttery, the lovely scent of lemon, and they just melted in your mouth. With a perfect sweet blueberry topping, made extra fun by the fresh berries that went POP! in your mouth as they burst, and LOTS of freshly whipped cream. The texture of the cakes was actually quite different to a scone in the end, much richer and crumbly rather than fluffy, halfway to a shortbread. It might not actually cure any illnesses but it does leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy.
Blueberry & Lemon Shortcakes
(adapted from this recipe, makes approx 8)
2 cups plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
115g cold unsalted butter, cubed
3/4 cup pure cream (whipping cream)
1 lemon
1 cup (approx 3 punnets) fresh blueberries (or frozen)
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp honey
Extra pure cream for topping
Preheat oven to 220 degrees C. Zest lemon. Sift flour, baking powder, sugar (2 tbsp) and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Add cold butter and use your fingertips to rub together until it is combined into a sandy mixture with some large lumps of butter. Using your hands or a butter knife to combine, gradually add the cream until most of the dry mixture is just moistened. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and sprinkle the lemon zest over the top. Lightly knead the dough until it just comes together.
Pat the dough into a round about 1.5-2cm thick then use a cutter to cut out your portions. I used a 6cm scone cutter. Place on a lined baking sheet and brush the tops of the cakes with some extra cream. Bake for approximately 12-14 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned and the dough is set. Cool on a rack.
While cakes are cooling, place blueberries, honey, caster sugar and the juice from the lemon in a small saucepan and cook on medium heat until the blueberries just start to burst open. Remove from the heat and allow to cool and thicken slightly (I placed mine in the fridge to cool it down quicker). Slice shortcakes in half and then spoon the blueberry mixture over the top.
Dollop some freshly whipped cream on top and serve with the other half of the shortcake on top. Shortcakes (unassembled) can be stored in an airtight container overnight, but is best eaten fresh. Blueberry mixture can be stored overnight in the fridge.
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  1. Ha I love the escaping blueberry. Run run before the cream gets you!!!

    Shortcakes are always so tasty too. I think I like their ability to hold even more cream than a scone :)

  2. Your shortcakes are utterly adorable! I love the idea of cooking the blueberries with honey - the oozy colour is brilliant.

  3. heh i loved gilmore girls! hated logan tho and dean. jesse w00t! and lol i like your stray blueberry hehe

  4. i love love love blueberries. The blueberries mixture would do go so well with scones, yum!

  5. Hehe I like the stray blueberry too! It's kinda cute :) Mmmm your shortcakes look so good, like my perfect kind of afternoon tea food

  6. I love the trail left by the lone blueberry. Beautiful photographs!! I really want to take a bite!!

  7. Hehe that naughty blueberry! Ummm lemon shortcake? I want it!

  8. Mmmmm I thought that it looked like a big fancy scone too, but on second look it does seem different. Scone-y or not, it looks damn good. Perfect cure-all :) Love the rolling blueberry and hope you're feeling back on top of it soon!

  9. Amazing post! And beautiful photos. We would have to try this!! This is already bookmarked!

  10. The little lone blueberry is adorable infront of that delicious looking shortcake! Hope you are feeling better Steph.

  11. I hope you're feeling better soon Steph! It's a nice alternative to strawberry shortcake.

  12. ...the escaping blueberry knows its fate!

    that shortcake looks delectable, please pass me one! Thanks :)

  13. Yum these look delish - have already bookmarked in my 'things to bake' folder ;)

    Also, I totes love gilmour girls and I'm not ashamed to admit it - I find their super fast girly talking somewhat endearing!!

  14. Hee hee dessert trying to find itself eh :P Looks very tasty! and I agree with everyone that the escaping blueberry is so cute hee hee

    You didn't seem like you were sick tonight :S but get better!!

  15. That is so cute. I love shortbread, I love scones - I'm so making this! and baking is always therapeutic to me, ill or not.

  16. mmmm... forget strawberry shortcake when you can have blueberry shortcake! this dessert looks great.. i'm a sucker for anything with whipped cream.

  17. Gorgeous photo!
    The cake looks stunning too : )

  18. hehe thats funny the blueberry decided to take a path of its own, still looks so pretty!

  19. Oh that's gorgeous! Love the stray blueberry.

    Hope you feel better - I know what you mean about baking when you're ill or stressed. I've been having a bad few days and voila I've made something exciting every day to cheer myself up with some rolling out/weighing etc.

  20. Your photos are absolutely beautiful! Lemon and blueberry is such a great combination-these shortcakes just look perfect!

  21. Aww how cute are your shortcakes. I havent tried a Blueberry one begore but I am sure they are absolutely delicious.

  22. Oooh wow this looks delicious, I love blueberries at the moment, the sauce dribbling out of your shortcake looks so tasty!

  23. h yum, they look just perfect!! I'm the same, when I'm sick baking is a cure for me. Once I baked a big batch of cupcakes for Daz's workmates, he got in trouble for telling them I was sick....surely I wouldnt bake if I was sick right!!

  24. Poor little blueberry...

    Hope you get better soon! Fruit and baked goods always help with recovery =D

  25. Helen - It just didn't want anything to do with it! Haha yes the cream holding ability is definitely a plus :)

    Belle - Thank you! Having vanilla yoghurt with blueberries and honey is one of my favourite desserts, so I had a feeling it might work!

    chocolatesuze - YES! jess>rest, pity he grew up boring

    linda - me too! and they're so good for you :)

    Jacq - Hehe thanks! I had it for breakfast and afternoon tea, it was awesome!

    Ellie - I think the blueberry decided i wasn't competent enough to style my own plate so it did it for me! Thanks Ellie :)

    Karen - Yes, it was promptly consumed! I should make it for you!

    Conor - It looks scone-y but the texture is very different :) Thanks!

    Jun Belen - Oh cool! :) Let me know how it works out for you!

    Trissa - Thanks Trissa :) I'm all good now!

    Lorraine - Yes the mystery flu went away after lots of water drinking and sleep! Thanks!

    Amy - Haha :) om nom nom...

    cupcakexgirl - Same! Though I find myself talking faster after watching them....

    FFichiban - Haha I was determined not to let the mystery flu ruin my night! But I paid for it the day after :(

    iheartcakes.wordpress.com- I agree! Therapeutic when it works...extra stress when something goes wrong though!

    krissy - I agree! Yes the more whipped cream the better I say!

    Brenda - Thank you :)

    Betty - Yep, it went walkabout! But it worked out well for everyone :)...except the blueberry i suppose...

    Poires au Chocolat - Thanks :) Aww I guess thats something good that comes out of it..all the yummy things you make!

    Megan - They were tasty! I love the smell that lemon zest gives baked things!

    A cupcake or two - You should try it! I actually prefer it to the strawberry

    Natalie... Blueberries were so cheap, I want to use them in everything!

    Maria- Thank you! Yeah my friends think i'm nuts when i'd rather bake than rest when i'm feeling yuck.

    The Ninja - Hi Ninja :) I think so too, I did get better very quick!


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