The end of summer always means the end of shortcake season. In this case, by shortcakes, I mean biscuits or scone-like cakes that are topped with whipped cream and fresh fruit. Shortcakes are very easy to make entirely from scratch when you’re using biscuits as a base because the biscuits only take a few minutes to put together and can be used fresh out of the oven or made in advance and used at room temperature. For these shortcakes, I used a batch of my Buttermilk Cornmeal Biscuits, although other slightly sweeter biscuits would work equally well.
I opted to make these shortcakes with farmers’ market-fresh blackberries. They were sweet and juicy, but black berries can be a bit too big and firm to be a good shortcake fruit, and they don’t look quite as well sliced up as strawberries do. My solution was to cook them slightly to make them more tender, and add a little bit of extra sweetness by adding some sugar to them as they cooked. I served the blackberries over a big dollop of yogurt whipped cream – lightly sweetened whipped cream with some greek-style yogurt added in to make the cream thicker and even creamier. When they hit the dessert plates, the shortcakes were the perfect blend of biscuits, cream and berries – and it was hard to stop after just one shortcake!
I used fresh blackberries for these shortcakes, but you can also use frozen berries if that is what you have on hand. To use frozen, simply defrost your berries and drain them, reserving just 2-3 tbsp of juice, and add them to the saucepan instead of fresh berries, using the juice instead of the water listed in the recipe. From there, follow along with the regular instructions and serve the sweetened berries over the biscuits.
Blackberry Shortcakes with Yogurt Whipped Cream
1 batch Buttermilk Cornmeal Biscuits or Buttermilk Biscuits
2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp water
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar (or more, to taste), sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup plain greek-style yogurt
Bake and cool biscuits.
In a medium saucepan, combine blackberries, sugar and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar has been dissolved and blackberries have released some of their juice and are tender, about 5-10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a medium mixing bowl, beat whipping cream to soft peaks, then blend in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract. Fold in greek-style yogurt until mixture is smooth and creamy.
Split the biscuits. Add a big dollop of cream to the base of each biscuit, then top with about 1/4 cup blackberries and replace the biscuit tops. Serve immediately.