This is the perfect spring dessert.
We’re starting to see some delectable looking berries at the market, so get ready for some scrumptious berry desserts coming your way in the new few weeks. I have raspberries and strawberries growing in my garden, but it will be some time before they’re ripe enough to pick so I will have to content myself with store-bought for the time being.
I absolutely love lemon in everything. I drink it in my water, I squeeze it over basically everything I eat, and I sneak it into as many desserts as I possibly can. This recipe fuels my lemon obsession in the best possible way: there is lemon juice in the blueberry compote, the cakes have lemon sugar both inside and on top of them, and the whipped cream is folded together with a quick, delicious lemon curd.
In fact, the lemon cream is so wonderful I think I’ll have to start making and serving it as a dessert in its own right. It would be tasty just on its own, maybe garnished with a twist of lemon in a pretty bowl, or else spooned into those pre-baked tart shells with a fresh berry on top.
Don’t be daunted by the number of components in this dish – I promise all the steps are extremely simple. You can even prepare the blueberry compote and the lemon curd in advance, and simply make the cakes and fold the curd into the whipped cream just before serving. If you’re really pressed for time, you can even use store-bought blueberry jam (not jelly) and lemon curd in place of the homemade.
I feel so good about this dessert that I ate it for breakfast this morning. It’s a serving of fruit, right? Two if you count the lemon?
Actually, I don’t even need an excuse. Dessert for breakfast is completely acceptable at my house.
Blueberry Shortcakes with Lemon Cream
- 4 cups blueberries (frozen are fine - do not thaw)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons corn starch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 and ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
- ½ cup chilled heavy whipping cream, plus 1 tablespoon (for brushing)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Cook blueberries, sugar, corn starch and lemon juice in a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat until mixture thickens and bubbles, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook stirring constantly for 1 minute more. Set aside to cool.
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk lemon juice, sugar and egg yolks. (Make sure to keep whisking and don't turn the heat too high or you will end up with scrambled eggs!) Cook and whisk until thick and creamy, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool completely.
- In a large bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold half the cream into the lemon curd to lighten, then fold in the remaining cream. Cover and chill until ready to assemble cakes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine lemon zest and sugar. Rub with your fingertips until thoroughly mixed. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the lemon sugar in a small bowl. To remaining lemon sugar, add flour, baking powder and salt and mix together. Add cold butter cubes and mix in (with a pastry blender or your fingers) until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add ½ cup cream and the lemon juice and mix with a fork until a dough begins to form.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and pat dough into a 1-inch thick disk. Using a 2-inch diameter cutter, cut into rounds. Gather dough scraps and repeat. You should have 6 cakes total. Transfer to a heavy baking sheet.
- Brush tops of cakes with remaining 1 tablespoon of cream and sprinkle with the reserved lemon sugar. Bake until puffed and just golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly.
- To serve, split each cake down the middle using a serrated knife. Place bottom halves, cut side up, on each of 6 plates. Top with blueberry compote and lemon cream and cover with cake tops. Serve immediately.
Source: Adapted from Bon Appetit Desserts