Seize the spring with something sweet. Chef Mark Sapienza shares his homemade recipe—from the shortcake to the topping sauce—for flaky buttermilk biscuits blooming with juicy fruits, lavender honey and minted whipped cream. Whip up a batch to bring to the dessert table (or keep them for yourself) as tasty harbingers of warmer weather.
- 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon mint, julienned
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups raspberries
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 peaches, large ripe
- 1/4 cup lavender honey
- 2 cups raspberries
- Whip cream, sugar and vanilla in a cold bowl with a cold whisk or electric mixer to soft peaks. Fold in the mint. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Cut the shortening into the flour mixture with a pastry blender until the mixture forms coarse crumbs.
- Add the buttermilk, tossing with a fork until the dough holds together.
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface and form it into a disk. Knead lightly just a few times until smooth.
- Pat the dough to a 3/4-inch thickness. Using a biscuit cutter or glass dipped in flour, cut out a biscuit. Gather the trimmings and repeat forming and cutting for 4 biscuits.
- Place the biscuits about 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool.
- Add the berries and sugar to a small pan and cook over medium heat until the berries soften and release juices, about 5 minutes.
- Push the mixture through a fine mesh strainer with the back of a spoon.
- Discard the seeds and pulp. Reserve the berry sauce in the refrigerator.
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Score the peaches with a small “X” at the tip and blanch for 1 minute in the boiling water. Remove and immediately submerge in ice water. The skin should now peel off easily.
- Peel and slice the peaches, and toss with the lavender honey. Add the raspberries and gently toss to coat.
- Split the cooled biscuits and spoon the filling onto the bottom half. Top with whipped cream and the top of the biscuit.
- Dust the shortcakes with powdered sugar and drizzle with the raspberry coulis.