In the June 2009 issue of Bon Appetit magazine, there was an article full of recipes utilizing fresh summer berries. I found myself ripping out every single recipe! They all looked so delicious, but the WC Ingredient Challenge gave me a great opportunity to try one out. Every other week, a new ingredient is announced, and the challenge is to cook a dish that highlights it. This week's challenge was blueberries, and I knew I'd have no trouble coming up with something wonderful.
I absolutely LOVE using herbs in dessert. I guess it just goes back to my love affair with the sweet and savory combo. This recipe uses the classic combination of lemon and thyme to create a slightly sweet yet savory biscuit as the base for the shortcake. You then cook fresh blueberries with sugar, and top with freshly whipped cream.
This was absolutely divine! The bluberries were oozing and sweet, and the biscuit was fresh and savory. The only change I would make would be to add another half a teaspoon or so of fresh thyme, as I didn't feel like it was very pronounced. Or maybe the blueberry was just more overpowering. In any case, I plan on eating a biscuit toasted with butter for breakfast!
Blueberry Shortcakes with Lemon Thyme Biscuits
adapted from Bon Apetit, June 2009
- 4 cups blueberries (2 pints) rinsed and drained
- 2/3 cup confectioners sugar
- 2 Tablespoonswater
- 3/4 cup chilled buttermilk
- 1 Tablespoon lemon zest (I just did the zest of 1 medium lemon)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
For the biscuits, preheat oven to 425 and position rack to the center of the oven. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.
Mix the buttermilk, lemon, and thyme in a small bowl. Whisk next 5 ingredients in a large bowl to blend. Add butter and rub in with fingertips or using a pastry cutter, until the dough is the consisentcy of coarse meal. Add the buttermilk mixture, and stir with a fork until just blended.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead gently just until dough comes together, 4 or 5 turns. The shortcakes will be tough if they are handled too much. Pat dough out to a 3/4 inch thick circle. Using either a round or square 3-4 inch cookie cutter dipped in flour, cut out dough. Gently gather leftover dough and repeat (I got 7 square biscuits). Transfer to the baking sheet, and sprinkle with raw sugar.
Bake 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a rack and cool slightly.
Using a serrated knife, carefully cut biscuits horizontally in half. Spoon blueberries over bottom half, top with whipped cream, and cover with top half.