I substitute my family recipe for scone dough for traditional shortcake batter for a sweeter, more tender shortcake. The lemon sugar topping is a crunchy contrast to the soft cream and berries. Early in the summer I make it with strawberries alone and replace them with a combination of blueberries, raspberries and blackberries as they come into season. Using red and blue berries makes it a very appropriate July 4 treat. The recipe for scones was given to my by my Auntie Anna Brosnan Downes, from Castle Island, Co. Kerry, Ireland. —Phillippa Cannon
berries (sliced strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries)
Slice strawberries, add all berries to a mixing bowl.
Stir in lemon juice and two tablespoons granulated sugar. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate for half an hour, stirring occassionally.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Add flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt to a large mixing bowl. Stir well.
Rub in butter until mixture looks like bread crumbs.
Stir in beaten egg.
Stir in 1/2 cup sliced strawberries.
Fold in yogurt to form a wet dough.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface. With floured hands, shape the dough into a 1/2 inch high round. Using a 3 inch biscuit cutter, cut out eight shortbreads.
Stir lemon zest into turbinado sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle lemon sugar on the top of the shortbreads.
Place shortbreads on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes in a preheated 400 degree oven. The shortcakes are ready when a wooden toothpick inserted into the center of the shortcakes comes out clean. Remove from oven and let shortcakes cool on a wire tray for about an hour. If they will not be eaten right away, store the shortcakes in an airtight container.
To serve, cut the shortcakes in half horizontally. Place the bottom halves of the cakes on a platter or individual plates. Spoon berries and then cream on each shortcake. Place the top half of the shortcakes on each one. Serve immediately.