The mercury is rising, and the days are lengthening. It is the season of backyard barbecues and farmers markets. We find ourselves craving Strawberry Shortcakes this time of year, and wanted to remake this classic dessert to feature the seasonal bounty. To highlight the first stalks of rhubarb and early strawberries, we made a tangy strawberry rhubarb sauce, sweetened with handfuls of fresh strawberries. For shortcakes with bright flavor and fantastic crunch, we mixed together a dough dotted with citrus zest and crisp cornmeal. Top these lovely Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcakes with heaps of fresh whipped cream, and your family and friends will thank you. This recipe is adapted from Rustic Fruit Desserts.
Yield: 10 shortcakes
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 2/3 cup sugar for batter + 1/3 cup sugar to top shortcakes
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Zest of 1 orange, reserve juice for sauce
Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce:
- 1 pound chopped rhubarb, washed and trimmed
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 pounds strawberries, washed, trimmed, & sliced
- 1/3 cup sugar
- Lightly sweetened whipped cream
- For the shortcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare a baking sheet with either a thin coat of butter, a silicon baking mat, or a sheet of parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the shortcake's dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, 2/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt).
- Quickly add the cream, lemon zest, and orange zest to the dry ingredients and stir together with a spatula until the shortcake mixture just holds together. Do not overmix.
- Divide the dough into 10 equal portions, and form each into a rough ball. Roll each ball in the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar before spacing evenly on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 25-27 minutes, until lightly golden and baked through (a toothpick inserted comes out clean). While the shortcakes are baking, prepare the strawberry rhubarb sauce.
- For the strawberry rhubarb sauce: In a medium pot, combine the rhubarb, orange juice, sugar and half of the strawberries (1 pound). While this may seem like insufficient liquid, both the strawberries and rhubarb will juice quickly as they cook to create a loose sauce. Cook covered over medium heat for 10 minutes, until the rhubarb has broken down and is tender. Reduce heat as necessary to avoid the sauce boiling over. Once finished cooking, remove from the heat. Puree until smooth.
- Add the remaining 1 pound of fresh strawberry slices to the pureed sauce. Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Serve shortcakes within 1 day of baking, with a dollop of whipped cream and generous spoonfuls of strawberry rhubarb sauce.