Monday, August 15, 2011

Martha Monday: Blueberry Shortcakes

Summer is here and, with it, the arrival of shortcakes.  Recently I had the urge to bake but didn't really know what to make (pretty standard for me) but luckily Martha was there with her latest issue of Living, profiling summer desserts.  On their own, there's nothing really exciting about shortcakes.  I mean, let's be honest, they're like the biscuit's lazy cousin.  But where shortcakes really shine is with the addition of fruit.  Or specifically for this recipe, fruit compote. 

The word "compote" is somewhat of an inside joke in my family, ever since my father once tried to order pancakes at a Bob Evans restaurant and made the mistake of asking the waitress if they could put any "fruit compote" on top.  I've honestly never seen a more confused look come across a person's face while she stared at my father blankly until he finally said something like, "You know? Fruit sauce??" I guess you had to be there :)


I know these might seem somewhat sacrilegious too if you've only ever had the standard strawberry shortcake.  A cook out standby from my childhood, I have to admit that I was skeptical that blueberry could beat out strawberry in this fruit fight, but honestly I will never go back.  "Compote" may sound complicated, but I promise it's super simple and you'll probably be making this sauce for all kinds of toppings.  Martha's recipe also calls for a side of Sweet Corn Ice Cream...yeah, I know...but I have yet to try out my ice cream maker (a topic for another post) so I'd love to hear how it tastes if anyone else gives it a try. 

So what do you think? Are you on team strawberry or blueberry?

I call it: Shortcakes in the City :)

Sweet Corn Ice Cream Shortcakes with Blueberry Compote
     Ice Cream
4 ears corn, shucked
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon Black Spiced Rum
2 teaspoons black sugar (see instructions)
1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
¼ teaspoon pink peppercorns
9 large egg yolks

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 sticks cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cups low-fat butter milk
½ cup whole milk
Heavy cream for brushing
Course sugar, for sprinkling

     Blueberry Compote
1 pint fresh blueberries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1.  Make the ice cream: Carefully cut kernels from cobs, transfer to a saucepan. Break cobs in half; add to saucepan. Stir in milk, cream, ½ cup granulated sugar, rum, black sugar, pink salt and peppercorns. Bring to a boil. Let cool; discard cobs.

2.  Place corn mixture in a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Return mixture to saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat.

3.  Meanwhile, prepare an ice-water bath. Whisk together egg yolks and remaining ¼ cup sugar in a small bowl. Whisk 1 cup corn mixture into yolks, then return entire mixture to saucepan, whisking constantly, until custard thickens and can easily coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes.
Strain custard through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing down solids; discard solids. Transfer bowl to ice-water bath, and refrigerate for an hour.

4.  Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to an airtight container, and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours.

5.  Meanwhile, make the shortcakes: Preheat oven to 400°. Sift flours, baking powder, baking soda, granulated sugar, and 1 ¼ teaspoons salt twice into a bowl. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers until small clumps form. Make a well in the center, and pour in buttermilk. Mix until a shaggy mixture forms.

6.  Grease a 12 cup muffin pan, spoon in batter until about ¾ way full. Place in the oven and cook for about 16 minutes. Brush tops of the shortcakes with heavy creak and sprinkle with course sugar. Finish baking for two to four minutes, until cakes are golden brown.

7.  Make the blueberry compote: Bring 1 cup of blueberries, the granulated sugar, water, and lemon juice to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until berries burst and liquid thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining blueberries. Let cool.

8.  Split shortcakes in half, top each with a scoop of ice cream and a spoonful of blueberry compote, then sandwich with shortcake tops.

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