From Scratch: Nectarine Shortcakes
Strawberries usually get all of the glory when it comes shortcakes, but I say equal opportunity for all fruits, especially stone fruits. While I have an affinity for peaches in a cobbler, my go-to fruit for shortcakes is a juicy nectarine. Once tossed in sugar, nectarines give off an incredible syrup that soaks into the shortcake and make the flavor out-of-this-world.
Treat shortcakes like pie dough; all of the ingredients need to be super-cold. Work the dough as little as possible.
2 c. all purpose flour
4 tbs. sugar
2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
8 tbs. butter, cut into half inch pieces, very cold
1/2 c. milk, very cold
6 nectarines, pitted and sliced
1/3 c. sugar
2 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla
For the shortcakes:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.
In a food processor, combine the first five ingredients with a few short pulses. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is the size of peas. Add the milk all at once and process until the dough comes together. Turn out onto a well-floured surface and shape the dough into a rough circle. Slice into quarters, then shape into discs and place on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown on top. Set aside, and allow to cool.
While the shortcakes cool, prepare the nectarines. In a medium bowl, toss together the sliced fruit, sugar, and cinnamon.
Whip the heavy cream and vanilla until stiff peaks in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
To assemble, slice the shortcakes in half and spoon a little whipped cream on the bottom half. Pile nectarines with the juices on top, then add more whipped cream and lean the top half of the shortcake on top.