Chef Michael Smith's Winterberry Shortcake

Posted by Donna-Marie Pye on

Ok Relish friends, you've been so good all month. Have you noticed we've been feeding you recipes with a nod to healthy eating this month - from whole grains to bright greens? However, we take a break during this regularly scheduled time to give you something sweet and delicious. Our friends at Meyer Cookware (Canada's only cookware manufacturerer) have established relationships with many Canadian chef's and celebrities - Chef Michael Smith being one of them. Today's recipe is one he developed for Meyer but also speaks to our desire to cook what's in our refrigerator or freezer this month. Instead of using fresh, hard and tasteless strawberries, try using frozen. They are picked and processed ripe in season and they are delicious with a bit of cooking. It will satisfy your craving for Ontario strawberries while you await true summer berries.

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Ingredients...

Nutmeg Biscuits:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp EACH baking soda and salt
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup frozen butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (see our suggestions at the end of the recipe for ways to use buttermilk up)

Berry Topping:

Method...

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. If you have a convection option, use convection. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or a baking mat.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg together.
  3. Using a box grater, grate the cold butter through the largest holes into the dry ingredients. Using your hands, toss the mixture together until the butter shards are spread evenly amongst the flour (a little easier than "cutting" in the fat).
  4. In a small bowl or glass measure, combine buttermilk and egg, whisk until blended. Pour into the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon forming a dough mass. On floured surface, knead gently 10 times. Using your hands, form into a ball and flatten it to form a circle measuring 5-inches (12 cm) in diameter and ¾ inch (2 cm) thick.
  5. Pat or roll the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface forming a thick even disc roughly 1” thick then cut into large circles with a biscuit cutter. Position the biscuits on a baking tray and brush with the egg mixture then sprinkle with coarse sugar, which will adhere to the egg in the oven. Bake until the biscuits are golden brown and delicious, 12 to 15 minutes.
  6. Berry Topping: Strain the thawed strawberries well, reserving the juice. Set the berries aside. Pour the juice into a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the strawberry jam and bring the works to a brisk simmer. Continue cooking, stirring frequently and reducing to a jam-like consistency, about 10 minutes. Stir the reduction into the reserved berries and chill the works.
  7. Assembly: Whip the cream with the vanilla and honey until soft, pillowy white and decadently delicious.
  8. Halve the biscuits then build the shortcakes with giant spoonfuls of strawberry compote and lots of whipped cream. Serve and share.  Makes 8 servings

Waste Not What You Bought - Ways to Use Buttermilk

    • Coffee Cake/Muffins: Replace milk called for in a recipe with buttermilk. It gives coffee cake or muffins an extra tang of flavour.
    • Mashed Potatoes: Adding buttermilk to mashed potatoes adds a rich creamy factor and depth of flavour.
    • Soup: Thant's right, buttermilk can definitely go beyond the baking and drastically improve your soup game. 
    • Fried/Oven Baked Chicken: No carton of buttermilk goes to waste in our kitchen. We marinate our chicken tenders or chicken drumsticks in a well seasoned buttermilk mixture before draining and coating with breading and baking in the oven.
    • Salad Dressing: Not only is ranch easy to make at home, it's way tastier and healthier than any bottled stuff you'll find at the store. Trust me, once you go DIY on this one... you will never look back.
    • Cornbread: Try making a batch of cast iron skillet cornbread. It's a natural go-to but beware, it might be so good you'll need to make another batch!
    • Smoothies: Buttermilk adds a delightful tanginess to balance the sweet fruit.
    • Pancakes: Replace milk in your favourite pancake recipe (even if its from a box) with buttermilk. It delivers half the fat and all the scrumptious flavour of your typical short stack.
    • Cream Cheese Spread: Mix some buttermilk into softened cream cheese along with an herb mix for a delicious spread on crackers or crostini.

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2 comments

  • I don’t understand the measurement of sugar for the biscuits . You wrote 2 Tbsp cup sugar ? Would you mind clarifying this for me please?

    Val Rolls on
  • I don’t understand the measurement of sugar for the biscuits . You wrote 2 Tbsp cup sugar ? Would you mind clarifying this for me please?

    Val Rolls on

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