Nectarine Blueberry Cornmeal Shortcakes Topped with Candied Pecans
Nothing says summer like berry shortcakes! This traditional treat has been around for centuries, though, so it might just be time for an update. If you’re looking for a new dessert to try this summer that isn’t high on calories, try this new twist on the old classic.
For this easy recipe, you’ll only need four ingredients: shortcakes, fruit, whipped cream, and candied pecans. Depending on how much time you have, you can use a store-bought version of each component, or make it from scratch.
The Candied Pecans
If you have a favorite candy maker, you might want to get this item from him or her. Otherwise, making your own isn’t hard. This recipe can be adapted to just about any kind of nut.
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
1 pound of pecans, halved
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- In small bowl, mix together sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk together egg white and water until mixture is frothy. Add in pecans and ingredients from the small bowl. Mix until nuts are evenly coated.
- Transfer nuts to ungreased baking sheet. Bake for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
Many people make strawberry shortcake with angel food cake, but purists will tell you that you need to make “real” shortcakes in order to truly appreciate this dessert. Cornmeal shortcakes are not as sweet as other cakes, but they are denser, making them a good foundation for juicy fruit and whipped cream.
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plain yellow cornmeal
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg
2/3 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Grease a jelly roll pan and set aside. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- In a food processor, combine the first set of ingredients until a coarse mixture forms.
- In a large bowl, combine egg and whipping cream. then add the flour mixture and mix until a dough forms.
- Knead dough three to four times. Transfer dough to a jelly roll pan.
- On the pan, form dough into a 6” circle. Slice the circle into six wedges. Separate wedges on pan, and brush the top of each with melted butter. Sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and firm to the touch.
Look for in-season blueberries and nectarines at your local farmer’s market. You might also want to adapt this recipe and use peaches, pears, and/or raspberries. Cut the fruit into bite-sized chunks.
The Whipped Cream
While it’s easy to find this in a supermarket, many people swear by making it themselves. If you want to try it, place one cup of heavy whipping cream in a cold bowl with 2 tablespoons of sugar. You might want to try freezing the bowl before starting. Vigorously whisk these two ingredients together until stiff peaks form. Your whipped cream can be stored in a sealed container for a day or two, but you might need to re-whisk it before serving.
Cut the shortcake in half, topping with fruit, whipped cream and pecans. Cover the stack with the top half of the shortbread, or arrange it to the side for an open-faced presentation. Now sit back and enjoy this decadent summer dessert!
Picture and Recipe adapted from Good Housekeeping.