Essence of Eats: Red, White + Blue Shortcake

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When you’re searching for that perfect party-ready recipe for a cookout this weekend … I urge you to stop right here: Red, white and blue shortcake. A twist on the classic! Not only is this recipe super simple, but it’s delicious, tastes fresh, and is most importantly–very festive!

Strawberries are at the tail-end of their peak season, so I snapped up some super ripe ones at the farmer’s market today, and blueberries are just coming in season, making this the perfect way to use the flavors of the season.

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I’m a big fan of Paula Deen’s biscuit recipe, and they’re ridiculously easy to make. If you’re in a pinch for time, the store bought ones will work fine, and if you’re not a biscuit fan, I recommend this angel food cake recipe, which are great for individual servings cut into cubes.

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What you’ll need:

  • Everything for the biscuit recipe above
  • 1 quart fresh strawberries
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup of rum (I used Malibu)
  • Olive oil to coat saucepans
  • 1-2 tablespoons of agave syrup
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • Powdered sugar (to taste)
  • Mint sprigs (optional, for garnish)

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Let’s make it!

  1. Prepare biscuits according to recipe. For taller biscuits, on baking rack place them with sides touching and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, instead of recommended instructions.
  2. While biscuits bake, chop strawberries into quarters.
  3. In small pot, drizzle olive oil and add blueberries. Cook on medium to low heat until sauce begins to form, stirring occasionally. When sauce starts to form, add agave syrup to taste, to sweeten blueberries and lighten the color, then remove from heat.
  4. In large saucepan, drizzle oil and add chopped strawberries. On medium to low heat, sauté until strawberries begin to soften. Add rum to pan and immediately begin to flambé before rum cooks off. I used a small torch to ignite the strawberries. Cook until flames subside.
  5. Allow strawberries to continue cooking until syrup-like sauce forms in pan, then remove from heat.
  6. While fruit is cooking, start the whipped cream. In large bowl, begin to whip cream with electric mixer or stand mixer until stiff peaks form. I usually whip beyond that, until consistency almost gets buttery, but do not over whip. Add powdered sugar to taste (I like about 1/4 of cup for just a little bit of sweetness.)

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  1. When biscuits and fruit have cooled, they are ready to be served. Cut biscuits in half, width-wise.
  2. Do not assemble until you’re ready to serve. Put a 1/2 biscuit in the serving dish, top with 2 tablespoons of strawberries, 2 tablespoons of blueberries, and a generous dollop of whipped cream. Top with additional biscuit if desired, and garnish with mint sprig.

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