Peach Shortcake with Raspberries

July 7, 2015 • Alaska from Scratch, Desserts, Recipes, Summer

Weather: 54 degrees, wet after a night of rain
What I’m listening to: the low rumble of John Deere tractors outside making preparations for the opening of fishing season tomorrow

Around the Fourth of July, when social media blew up with smiling faces in matching red white and blue outfits, sparklers, celebratory food and drink, loud music, colorful, booming fireworks, and happy babies with their faces buried in watermelon, I began to wonder… where do all the sad, hurting people go on weekends like this? The friends who have just gotten laid off from a job they’d had for decades, the ones who are dying of cancer before our eyes and those of us who are helpless to stop it… is there a special corner of social media reserved for those who can’t bear to celebrate with the rest of us? Or are we relegated to silence? Is there a space for those who are broken and lonely to be honest and feel safe amidst the noise and the fanfare? Is there a place to be real and vulnerable and messy?

And then perhaps some of these hurting people are hiding in plain sight, mixed in with the smiles and the fireworks, looking and acting just like the rest of us, trying for a moment not to be broken. Trying for one fleeting second to forget the pain and exchange it for something else. There is so much more depth and breadth to life – the gritty, the mundane, the hard, hard days that are never captured in pictures or with words. What we get online is a glimpse, just a fraction of who we are.IMG_2264So, to those of you who are silently hurting, and to those of you who are hiding in plain sight, I made you some dessert. I wish you could sit across the table from me and tell me your story over peaches and share your grief over raspberries. I wish we could settle into shortbread and exchange tears over pillows of whipped cream.

Peach Shortcake with Raspberries & Whipped Cream

Buttery golden homemade shortcakes layered with fresh summer peaches, juicy raspberries, and sweetened whipped cream.

Yields: 4-6 servings

  • 3 ripe peaches, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • For the Shortcakes:
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • For the Whipped Cream:
  • 2/3 cup cold heavy whipping cream
  • powdered sugar to taste

Preheat oven to 350.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt. Cut cold butter into pieces and, using a pastry blender or a fork, cut the butter into the flour mixture until crumbly.

Whisk together cream and egg. Pour into flour/butter bowl and stir. Put the dough onto a work surface and lightly knead until it comes together enough to work with, but don't overwork it or shortcakes will become tough.

Roll or pat the dough into 1/2-3/4 inch thickness. Cut with biscuit cutters, cookie cutters, or a knife into the shape you desire (circles and squares are the most common). You should be able to get 6 biscuit-sized shortcakes.

Place shortcakes onto a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until bottoms are golden and biscuits are cooked through. Carefully remove to a cooling rack (I like to serve them when they are still somewhat warm).

To make the whipped cream, add the cold cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium speed until the cream begins to hold shape (being careful not to over whip). Add powdered sugar by the tablespoon until you reach your desired sweetness. Beat again until combined. Keep cold until ready to serve.

To assembly the shortcakes, place a shortcake on a dessert plate. Layer with whipped cream, peaches, and raspberries. Repeat with remaining shortcakes. Serve promptly.