Summer produce is the best. With one look around the farmer’s market you see yellow squash, zucchini, blackberries, peaches, watermelon, corn, the list goes on and on and on. Everything is so fresh, vibrant and flavorful.
Last weekend on his way home from a quick trip to Alabama, Will stopped by a large farmer’s market in South Carolina and picked up a huge box of fresh fruits and vegetables. We came up with recipes to use all of it throughout the week and I was really proud when we tried new recipes and none of it went bad. It makes me think we could use a CSA box well ;)
In the box, he brought home two baskets of peaches, some white and some yellow. They were all mixed up so it was a surprise every time we cut into one. I think fresh peaches are one of the most flavorful fruits. They remind me of summertime and porch sitting, peach juice dripping down little arms and splashing on the warm walkway. Unaltered, they make the perfect sweet summer snack. With two baskets, we had enough to eat our fair share and make these wonderful brown sugar peach shortcakes with basil whipped cream.
These shortcakes are biscuit-like with a slightly sweet and mellow note. The deepened flavor that the brown sugar creates pairs well with the bright flavor of the basil whipped cream and the fresh sweetness of the peaches. The egg wash creates a glossy finish to the shortcakes and the turbinado sugar adds a nice crunch to the top. Together these aspects create a unique medley of flavors and the perfect summer dessert (or snack).
Brown sugar peach shortcakes with basil whipped cream are a delicious and beautiful way to use up fresh, sweet farmer’s market peaches. Don’t you just want to dive in?
Brown Sugar Peach Shortcakes with Basil Whipped Cream
Brown Sugar Shortcakes
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 large egg
¾ cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons milk
Basil Whipped Cream
1 cup whipping cream, cold
4-6 large basil leaves, well chopped
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add cold butter and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to quickly break the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal. In another mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg and buttermilk. Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture all at once and gently stir to incorporate. Incorporate the liquids into the flour just until the dough comes together. Don’t overwork the dough or the butter will start to melt and your shortcakes won’t be light and fluffy.
Flour a cutting board or a large surface and roll out the dough into about a 1-inch thickness. Cut into 2×2 inch squares or use a cookie cutter to cut into 2-inch circles. If the dough is sticky, pat some flour on the top, flour the rolling pin and the cutter and chill for 15-30 minutes. Gather the scraps, press them together and reroll the new dough ball. Cut and repeat until you have used all of the dough. Place the shortcakes on an ungreased (or lightly greased if you are not using a nonstick pan) baking sheet. Whisk together the egg and milk to make the egg wash. Brush the tops of the dough with the egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
While the biscuits are cooking, make the basil whipped cream. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add the chopped basil leaves and powdered sugar and whip until stiff peaks form. Sample it along the way and add more powdered sugar to taste.
Allow the shortcakes to cool on a wire rack.
To serve, slice the shortcakes in half and place a layer of peach slices and a layer of basil whipped cream between the two halves. Do this right before you serve – if they sit too long the shortcakes will become soggy.
These are best served the day they are made. They will last two days in the fridge and the shaped, uncooked dough can be frozen. Thaw frozen dough in the fridge overnight and bake in the morning (or whenever you are ready to use them).