Shortcakes are wonderful desserts to make during the summer. They typically start with a lightly sweetened biscuit, which is split and stuffed with fresh fruit and whipped cream. Strawberry shortcake is the best known example of a shortcake, but you can make shortcakes with other types of fruit, including peaches and blackberries – and this Cherries Jubilee Shortcake is just one more delicious example.
Cherries Jubilee, like Banana’s Foster, is a retro dessert that was very popular in the 1960s and 1970s, when it was prepared table-side by waiters in up-scale restaurants. The cooked cherries are flambeed before serving, which make for a very impressive presentation. Of course, flambeing a dessert in front of your guests still makes for a very impressive presentation and I think that this dessert deserves a comeback. I am sharing my recipe for Cherries Juibilee over on the Craftsy blog (it’s free!), so that you can learn to make it at home!!
The cherries are typically served with ice cream, but you can really do anything with them once they’ve been cooked. You could ladle them over a rich slice of cheesecake or chocolate cake, or you could turn them into this amazing shortcake recipe. The shortcake biscuits are lightly sweetened and are flavored with vanilla and a touch of rum, which I also like to use to flambe the cherries. If you use a different spirit in your cherries, such as brandy, you can substitute that into the shortcake. Once you have your biscuits, simply split them and fill them with the cherries and whipped cream.
Cherries Jubilee Shortcake
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp rum
3/4 cup buttermilk
coarse sugar, for topping
1 batch Cherries Jubilee
1 – 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until mixture is coarse and sandy, with no pieces larger than a big pea remaining.
Combine the vanilla, rum and milk in a measuring cup and pour 1/2 cup of the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture. Stir with a fork until the dough starts to come together into a very slightly sticky ball. Add more buttermilk as necessary to bring the dough together.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat or roll it into a rectangle about 3/4 thick. Using a biscuit cutter or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 6-8 rounds. Arrange on prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 18-22 minutes, until biscuits are a light golden brown. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
Assembly: When biscuits have cooled, split them in half.
In a large bowl, beat whipped cream and confectioners’ sugar until soft peaks form. Beat in vanilla extract.
Place a large spoonful of cherries onto each split biscuit and top with whipped cream.