The Perfect Berry Shortcake

This delicious, easy to make shortcake recipe yields a simple, foolproof biscuit that's crisp yet delicate.

Yield

6 servings

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
5 tablespoons granulated (white) sugar, divided
1/2 cup butter or margarine, frozen
1 large egg, beaten
1 large egg white (optional)
1/2 cup cold half-and-half
1 (16 ounce) package unsweetened frozen raspberries, blackberries, blueberries or strawberries, thawed and crushed
12 ounces fresh raspberries, blackberries or blueberries (rinsed and patted dry), or strawberries (hulled and sliced)
7 tablespoons granulated (white) sugar, divided
1 cup chilled heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C).

In a medium bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder and 3 tablespoons sugar. Grate 2 tablespoons of the butter on the coarse holes of a box grater into dry ingredients; toss to coat. Repeat grating and tossing with remaining butter.

In a small bowl, combine egg and half-and-half; pour into flour mixture. Toss with a fork to form large clumps. Lightly press clumps into a ball; add a teaspoon more half-and-half to the bowl if dough doesn't come together.

Turn dough onto work surface; press into an 8 x 4-inch to 5-inch rectangle. Cut into 6 squares, placing them 1 inch apart on a small baking sheet. (Can be refrigerated up to 2 hours before baking.) Before baking, brush tops with optional egg white. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes, until warm.

In a large bowl, mix thawed and fresh berries with sugar; let stand until sugar dissolves.

With a hand mixer, beat cream to soft peaks, gradually adding 1 tablespoon sugar, then vanilla.

Split each cake crosswise; spoon a portion of berries over each cake bottom, then a dollop of whipped cream over berries. Place cake top on top and serve immediately.

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