These little beauties take shortcake to a whole new level. They are buttery and flakey, with just the right amount of orange zest to brighten the flavors, but not so much that it overtakes the whole strawberry business at hand. To add to the ‘orange is beautiful’ theme, the strawberries are macerated in some Grand Marnier, an orange liquor, that is so good it almost made my head spin around. And then of course comes the whipped cream….
A couple of secrets as to why these guys taste so good is what goes into, and on top of, the dough. Hey, I’m not complaining about all that good butter in there also, but check out the orange zest and the sparkling sugar on top. They smell wonderful when they come out of the oven, and that sparkling sugar gives the shortcakes a nice crunch, followed of course by the flaky, buttery insides.
And when they do come out of the oven, you can see exactly what I’m talking about. And they taste even better than they look. I hesitate to say these words, since this is Tricia’s recipe and I’d hate it to all go to her head but hope it is worth the risk.
Our berries have been happily macerating away in a bath of Grand Marnier and cardamom, so now it’s time to put them to work.
Not done yet! Here’s a little trick if you’d like a slightly thickened sauce: Strain the juice off the macerated berries and heat on the stove top until simmering. In a small bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon water and 1 tablespoon cornstarch until well combined. Stir into the simmering juice and bring to a boil. Then turn it down to simmer and let it cook just until the sauce is thickened. If you do that, your sauce will be spoonable just like you see below. We cannot forget the whipped cream for Pete’s sake! It, of course, also has a nice bit of Grand Marnier added.
Finally!! Time to eat!
Happy Summer everyone!! Thanks so much for reading!! xoxoxox
- FOR THE SHORTCAKES
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch pieces
- ½ cup cream (half and half will do in a pinch)
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- 1 large egg white, slightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon of orange extract
- Zest of one large navel orange
- FOR THE STRAWBERRIES
- 1 quart of fresh strawberries
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- ¼ cup Grand Marnier
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch whisked into 1 tablespoon cold water (if you'd prefer a thickened sauce)
- FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 4 teaspoons vanilla syrup (the kind your local barista uses)
- 4 teaspoons Grand Marnier
- FOR THE SHORTCAKES
- Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pulse flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor. Add butter pieces and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to a large bowl and using a fork or your hands, gently blend orange zest throughout flour mixture.
- In a small bowl whisk the cream, orange extract and one egg. Pour mixture into large bowl with flour and mix just until large clumps form. The mixture will be shaggy in appearance. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead just enough to incorporate all of the ingredients. Roll dough out into a rectangle, approximately ¾ inch thick. Using a large biscuit cutter, (we used about 3-inch cutter) that has been floured or sprayed, cut out the shortcakes. Be careful not to twist the cutter as you are pressing down or bringing the cutter up. Place biscuits on prepared cookie sheet and brush tops with beaten egg white. Sprinkle liberally with sparkling sugar. Bake for approximately 14-16 minutes (depending on the size of the shortcakes) or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack.
- FOR THE BERRIES
- Clean and slice berries. Stir together sugar and cardamom. Place berries in bowl and toss with sugar and cardamom mixture. Add Grand Marnier and stir. Allow berries to macerate at either room temperature or in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- After removing berries from the liquid, you may use the liquid to top your berries on the shortcakes. If you prefer a thickened sauce, strain the juice from the macerated berries into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Stir the water and cornstarch mixture listed above in the 'Ingredients' section into the simmering liquid and bring to a boil, then immediately reduce to a simmer. Continue cooking for another minute or so until the mixture thickens, then remove from the heat.. Chill thoroughly after thickening.
- FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM
- Mix all ingredients and whip until desired texture. Note: Adding alcohol to the cream does mean it will take longer to whip into soft or firm peaks.