Peach Shortcakes

Shortcakes are on my short list (no pun intended) of go-to desserts when there is little time or equipment available (read – dinner at my dad’s house for a big family gathering.)  Normally I opt for a strawberry or mixed berry variety, but this peach version has been taunting me since last summer and it was time to give it a go.  I’ve been doing my very best to take advantage of peach season before it is gone and this seemed the perfect fit.  Shortcakes are also great for entertaining large groups because almost everything can be made in advance and then simply assembled when it’s time for dessert.  The biscuits are just barely sweet, an ideal counterbalance to the sweet, juicy fruit topping and the airy whipped cream.  Such a perfect ending to a summer get together, don’t you think?

Peach Shortcakes
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Yield: 6 servings
For the fruit:
2 lbs. firm, ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced ¼-inch thick, divided
6 tbsp. sugar, divided
2 tbsp. peach schnapps*

For the biscuits:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
½ tsp. salt
2/3 cup cold buttermilk
1 large egg
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

For the whipped cream:
½ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. vanilla extract

To prepare the fruit, combine about three quarters of the peach slices in a large bowl with 4 tablespoons of the sugar.  Toss to combine and let stand 30 minutes.  Combine the remaining peaches, remaining sugar, and peach schnapps in a medium microwave safe bowl.  Microwave on high until the peaches are bubbling, about 60-90 seconds, stirring once or twice during cooking.  Crush the peaches into a coarse pulp with a potato masher.  Let stand 30 minutes.

To make the biscuits, preheat the oven to 475˚ F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Whisk together the buttermilk and egg in a medium bowl, then whisk in the melted butter, stirring until the butter forms small clumps.  Add the liquid ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until a dough comes together and no dry ingredients remain.  Using a greased 1/3 cup measuring cup, scoop a mound of dough and drop it onto the prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining dough spacing the biscuits about 2 inches apart.  Sprinkle extra sugar over the top of the dough mounds.  Bake until the tops are golden brown, about 12-15 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool at least 15 minutes before assembling.

When you are ready to serve the shortcakes, add the heavy cream and sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whip on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, being careful not to over-beat.  Blend in the vanilla.

Split each biscuit and place the bottom half on a serving plate.  Spoon a few tablespoons of the crushed peach mixture over the biscuit, then top with some of the peach slices and a dollop of whipped cream.  Replace the top half of each biscuit and serve.

*You can sub orange liqueur or freshly squeezed orange juice

Source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, July/August 2008

29 Responses

  1. Heavenly!

  2. Just dreamy…I am up at 4:30am and am seriously considering making it right now! I am a new blogger and would love for you to stop by and say hi.

  3. I love peaches more than anything else! We are just starting to get local peaches here, so I’ll add this one to the many peach recipes I’m going to be making in the next two months or so! Lovely photo too. 🙂

  4. What a beautiful photo! Lovely color and composition.

  5. Annie, not only does the dessert look fabulous, but I love the photo! It looks very Southern Living.

  6. What kind of camera do you use? Your photos are beautiful!

  7. These do seem quite simple to make! The perfect last-minute dessert 😀

  8. Oh yum! Peaches always make me think of Kiawah!

  9. Looks so good, Annie! Strawberry shortcake was my birthday cake of choice when I was a child. I’ll have to give your peach version a try.

  10. Why have I never thought to pair other fruits with shortcake?? Brilliant! I always use strawberries but shortcake is so versatile that peaches make complete sense : )

  11. These shortcakes look absolutely delightful! I don’t know why, but I also think more of strawberries when I think shortcakes. But right now strawberries are not in season, while those juicy sweet peaches are. I’ve always preferred a biscuit type shortcake- this one with the peach topping has my mouth watering. Thanks for sharing the recipe 🙂

  12. Oh, yum! I love the addition of peach schnapps in the filling. Sounds delicious.

  13. Looks great! LOVE this picture!

  14. We just CANNOT get enough of shortcakes this summer…they’re the perfect warm weather dessert…these look awesome with the peach….yum yum yum!

  15. I agree with the other comment about this photo! Your photos have always been lovely, but I definitely noticed a difference in this one. 🙂

  16. Those look delicious – I LOVE peaches!

  17. Great picture and set-up, Annie!! Love the dishes too.

  18. I love the peach and the green together!!! Your shot is just beautiful!


  19. These shortcakes are SO pretty! I love the idea of swapping out strawberries for peaches. The final shot is super gorgeous!

  20. The best thing about shortcakes is that they’ll go with almost any very sweet fruit. Or on their own with a little butter. Summer peaches is one of the best choices though.

  21. Annie these peach short cakes look amazing. Yes, they are the perfect treat to end a beautiful sunny day. Nice addition of the schnapps.

  22. looks perfect. yummy!

  23. This should seriously be a SIN
    ahhh it looks sooooo DELICIOUS
    thanks for sharing

  24. Oh, these look delicious. I agree with you on the ease of serving these to groups. My daughter had a strawberry themed birthday party, so we did strawberry shortcakes for her birthday cake. That was the easiest birthday cake I’ve ever make for her! So simple which I appreciated being that the party was at a park. And I love you peach version. I’m trying to come up with simple ways to use the peaches that are in season now since I’m due to have a baby any day now. Gotta keep it simple, right?

  25. This looks delicious! I just posted about my first time baking with peaches, and now I wonder why I don’t use fruits more 😛

  26. There is something about that photo that makes it beautiful. The lighting is perfect, the composition breathtaking, and your shortcakes look delicious.

  27. I made these last night and they were FANTASTIC. The biscuits were perfect and what a great way to use the peaches from our peach tree. Thank you for sharing this recipe Annie!

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