Cornbread Shortcakes with Nectarines and Whipped Cream

September  1, 2020
0 Ratings
Photo by miawasserman
  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Makes 4-6 Shortcakes
Author Notes

I've been making this recipe for years, changing little things every time until ending up with this version that has become my absolute favorite: it is kind of like a cross between a little cake, cornbread and a biscuit. These shortcakes taste best paired with some macerated fruit and whipped cream (obviously strawberries are a classic, but nectarines are my favorite, especially during late summer). Tossing the fruit very simply with some lemon and sugar brings out the natural sweetness of the fruit while adding a pop of citrus that makes an excellent contrast. The basil is fully optional, but it definitely elevates the dish. Getting a bite of warm shortcake, some cool, very lightly sweetened whipped cream and some perfectly ripe fruit is just so delicious. —Mia Wasserman

What You'll Need
  • Cornbread shortcakes:
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons chilled, unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 1 medium egg (very particular, I know but if you only have a large or extra large egg, then cut the amount of cream by about ½ tbsp)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Nectarines and Whipped Cream
  • 2 nectarines, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chiffonaded basil (optional)
  1. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder and sugar. In another small bowl or measuring cup, combine ¼ cup cream, the egg and vanilla and mix well. Set aside.
  2. Cut butter into ½ inch cubes and add to the flour mixture. Toss to combine so that the butter is coated in the flour mixture. Using a pastry cutter, a fork or your hands, smash the butter into the flour, tossing the entire mixture occasionally to make sure there are no big pieces of butter stuck anywhere. Continue cutting and tossing until the butter pieces are the size of big peas. You can also use a food processor if you’d like (I don’t just because I don’t like getting it dirty if I don’t have to, but there's nothing wrong with using one).
  3. When the butter is incorporated into the flour, add the cream mixture. Using a hard spatula or fork, mix so that the liquid distributes evenly (you don’t want it to absorb entirely into one part of the flour). Then mix the dough until it all starts to come together, folding it over onto itself (and kneading if necessary) to incorporate any dry, flour bits that have settled at the bottom of the bowl. The dough will feel a little wet and sticky. Wrap tightly and chill for an hour (or up to 2 days).
  4. Preheat oven to 400.
  5. Turn out the chilled dough onto a lightly floured work surface and pat or roll it into a ½ inch thick block (dust the surface and dough as needed with flour to prevent sticking). Cut into 4-6 equal pieces.
  6. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray. Place the pieces of shortcake on the sheet tray, making sure to keep them at least 2-3 inches apart. Brush the tops with the remaining cream and bake until tops are golden brown and crispy, about 20 minutes.
  7. While the shortcakes are cooking, make the nectarines and whipped cream. Toss the nectarines with sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and pinch of salt. Taste and adjust the sugar and lemon as needed. Let the fruit sit in the sugar to help release its juices while the shortcakes cook.
  8. Make the whipped cream: Using a hand whisk or an electric mixer, whip chilled heavy cream, powdered sugar and ½ tsp vanilla until stiff peaks form. If you're not planning on using the whipped cream immediately, wrap tightly and chill in the fridge until ready to use.
  9. When shortcakes are done, serve warm with macerated nectarines, whipped cream and basil, if using.

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