Here’s one dessert you’ll want to make for your Labor Day barbecue this coming weekend. A southern-style twist on everyone’s favorite peach shortcakes. Ripe peaches, bourbon whipped cream and toasted pecans sandwiched between a warm cakelike biscuit.
In one word-incredible! Serve this dessert while the shortcakes are still warm from the oven for a perfect ending to any summer meal!
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 14 Minutes
For the Topping:
2 pounds ripe but firm peaches (4 to 5 medium), peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges (see note)
6 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons peach schnapps (see note)
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
For the Shortcakes:
2 cups bleached all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface and biscuit cutter
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar for sprinkling
1 stick unsalted butter (8 tablespoons), frozen, cut into ½ inch pieces
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon half-and-half
1 egg white, lightly beaten
For the Bourbon Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons bourbon
In large bowl gently toss three-quarters of peaches with 4 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Let stand 30 minutes. Toss remaining peaches with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and schnapps in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high power until peaches are bubbling, about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, stirring twice during cooking. Using potato masher, crush peaches into coarse pulp. Let stand 30 minutes.
Adjust oven rack to lower middle position; heat oven to 425 degrees.
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, pulse flour, salt, baking powder, and 3 tablespoons sugar until combined, about five 1-second pulses. Add the butter and toss with a fork to cover in flour mixture. Pulse until mixture looks like coarse cornmeal flecked with pea-sized bits of butter, about 10 to 12 pulses. Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl.
Add egg with half-and-half; pour into flour mixture. Mix with a rubber spatula until mixture comes together. Turn mixture onto floured work surface and lightly knead until it comes together.
Pat dough into 9- by 6-inch rectangle, 3/4 inch thick. Flour 2 3/4-inch biscuit cutter; cut 6 dough rounds. Place 1 inch apart on small baking sheet; brush dough tops with egg white and sprinkle with remaining sugar. (Can be covered and refrigerated up to 2 hours before baking.) After cutting six perfect rounds of dough, you can reknead the scraps and repeat the cutting process to get one or two more rounds. These shortcakes will be a little tougher and less attractive than those from the first cutting. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Place baking sheet on wire rack; cool cakes until warm, about 10 minutes.
While the biscuits are baking, make the whipped cream: Chill nonreactive, deep, 1- to 1 1/2-quart bowl and beaters for a handheld mixer in freezer for at least 20 minutes. Add cream, brown sugar, and bourbon to chilled bowl; beat on low speed until small bubbles form, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium; continue beating until beaters leave a trail, about 30 seconds more. Increase speed to high; continue beating until cream is smooth, thick, and nearly doubled in volume, about 20 seconds for soft peaks or about 30 seconds for stiff peaks. If necessary, finish beating by hand to adjust consistency.
Split each biscuit in half and place bottoms on individual serving plates. Spoon portion of crushed peach mixture over each bottom, followed by peach slices and any exuded juices. Top peaches with 2 tablespoons whipped cream and 1 tablespoon pecans; cap with biscuit top, and dollop each shortcake with some of remaining whipped cream. Serve immediately.
If your peaches are firm, you should be able to peel them with a sharp vegetable peeler. If they are too soft to withstand the pressure of a peeler, you’ll need to blanch them in a pot of simmering water for 15 seconds and then shock them in a bowl of ice water before peeling.
Orange juice or orange liqueur can be used in place of the peach schnapps.
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