Gourmandistan

Blueberry lemon shortcake, because summer is finally here

Blueberry Lemon Shortcake

After a long winter, Gourmandistan will bear rhubarb, and delight in strawberries, as spring weather begins to literally bear fruit. (Fine, strawberries are “literally” not fruits, but pseudocarp. Satisfied, pedants?) But when blueberries arrive, we know the peaches, plums, blackberries and other delightful summer treats will soon appear at local farmers’ markets, to be enjoyed until apple season signals the end of another (hopefully) bountiful year.

We buy many, many blueberries at the markets, because Steve enjoys eating them as snacks. But Michelle recently wrested some away from him and cobbled together this beautiful dessert. Velvety biscuits topped with a chunky compote with slightly firm blueberries and a smooth, lemon curd-enhanced cream make a marvelous way to greet the first fruits of summer. We almost can’t wait to see what the rest of the season will bring.

BLUEBERRY LEMON SHORTCAKE

(blueberry mixture adapted from Midwest Living Magazine/lemon cream filling adapted from Food & Wine Magazine/biscuits adapted from Lauren Groveman’s Kitchen)

Berry mixture:

  • 2 c. blueberries
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 TB lemon juice
  • zest of one lemon

Place about 2/3 of the berries in a small saucepan along with sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Bring to a simmer, stirring. Cook for about 5 minutes, smashing a bit with a potato masher. Add remaining 1/3 of berries and, after about 30 seconds, remove from heat. Add a bit of water if mixture seems too thick.

Lemon cream filling:

  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 c. lemon juice
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2-1/2 TB sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 TB butter
  • 1 c. heavy cream

Combine half the lemon zest, the lemon juice, egg, egg yolk, sugar, salt and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a small saucepan.

Place a fine sieve over a bowl and keep near the stove.

Cook lemon mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, for about 5 minutes, until thickened. The mixture may curdle a bit. Near end of cooking time, add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.

Strain through the sieve into the bowl. Stir in remaining lemon zest. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

When lemon mixture is cold, whip cream. Fold in lemon curd mixture. Cover and refrigerate.

Biscuits:

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour, preferably a soft wheat variety such as White Lily
  • 1 TB baking powder
  • 1 TB sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 TB cold butter, cut into small dice
  • 1-1/3 c. heavy cream
  • Additional cream and sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Toss with a fork. Add butter and mix in with a pastry cutter (or with your fingers) until the mixture looks like coarse meal.

Pour in cream. Combine with a wooden spoon. If too dry, add a bit more cream.

Turn the mixture out onto a floured piece of waxed paper. Knead just a few times. Pat into a circle about 1″ high.

Cut biscuits out with a round cutter and place on the prepared baking sheet. Gather up and pat out again if desired and cut more biscuits.  A 2″ cutter will make about 8 biscuits on the first cutting, about 3 more if patted out a second time.

Brush tops of biscuits with additional cream.  Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for about 15 minutes, rotating the pan in the middle of cooking and watching carefully so the sugar on top doesn’t burn.

Assembly:

For each serving, halve a biscuit. Place the bottom on serving plate or bowl. Spoon some blueberry mixture over. Top with a heaping tablespoon or more of the lemon whipped cream. Top with the biscuit top.

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58 comments

  1. This looks so perfect for the weather. Thanks for the tip about strawberries. I hadn’t thought of it. But I do love blueberries and cream AND it’s Wimbledon season so it’s a perfect dessert. That picture is just yum!

    • Thanks a million, Amanda! I hadn’t thought of that either. Steve is the lover of all trivia. (Let’s not even discuss those ancient days when he won every game of Trivial Pursuit.) I think, in the end, I like strawberry shortcake better. But this was mighty good.

    • Thanks so much, Angelica. And, my goodness, we should not have forgotten to mention that they’re scones. 🙂 Don’t you just love the language differences? Biscuits/scones, cookies/biscuits/cakes, bar cookies/flapjacks, and on and on and on. It’s endlessly fascinating. But tea would be good … whatever one calls them!

  2. Pseudocarp?! What? I’ll just keep calling them fruit…
    So lovely to see the summer recipes popping up all over the blogosphere. Makes me feel a little happier whilst looking at our miserable winter weather every day! Lemon and blueberry is a winning combination every time. Love the plating of this beautiful fresh shortcake… such a stunning pile of fresh fruit! Yum.

    • I don’t know where he comes up with this stuff. 😉 I know, Laura. During our last winter I was sooooo envious of you all on the other side of the world!

  3. Wow lucky you that you can get many many blueberries. They are so hard to find here, and when you do it’s the tiniest tray for an astronomical price. Such a pity because I adore them. What a beautifully delicious recipe you’ve made, my goodness, would love to have a plate! xx

    • It’s always funny learning what people have access to, isn’t it? Given the huge amounts of strawberries and raspberries I always see in Western Europe (plus the ubiquitous confiture de myrtilles), I figured blueberries would be there too. But Roger, as above, always says not. Just like I always moan about the rarity of decent apricots and plums here…

  4. I love blueberries. Love, love lemon curd flavours. They’re perfectly tart and so yummy. The berries in your pic look so juicy, like they’re about to burst.. yum.

  5. Yum! I would love to have this for breakfast right now! We have had a good blueberry year here in Middle Tennessee. Nashville’s crop has been stellar and plentiful and delicious so I think I shall grab a few and make your recipe this weekend. Beautiful.

  6. That photo stopped me in my tracks. It’s 5:20 am here in Boulder, and I actually paused and thought, “Wow. I wonder if I could get a ways with eating that right now?”

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