Dining In

Fruitful Desserts
By Nancy Finch, Food Columnist


Strawberry Peach Shortcake Ring

With strawberries still available and peaches and other berries on the way, forget chocolate or whatever your usual favorite dessert is.

Nothing can match delicious, in-season, fresh fruit for dessert. Local strawberries or peaches are at their most flavorful when they come from nearby gardens or orchards.

Thanks to refrigerated flaky biscuits —  the layered canned biscuits — you can have a jiffy version of shortcake that, to me, is better than the homemade biscuit-style shortcake.

Strawberry/Peach Shortcake Ring went together quickly, baked fast and made a handsome presentation at the table. This is a good “after-work” recipe. You may use this with a combination of the fruits of  your choice.

Lemon Fluff Shortcake, using canned biscuits and fruit (even melon balls or quartered kiwi would be good with the creamy lemon sauce), is both good and good-looking. The lemon sauce is a good sauce recipe for many occasions — top pound cake, gingerbread, or serve alone with fruit slices.

Lemon Fluff Shortcake

Ingredients:

bullet1⁄2 cup sugar
bullet1⁄4 cup cornstarch
bullet1 cup water
bullet2 eggs, separated
bullet1 t grated lemon peel
bullet1⁄4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
bullet4 oz. cream cheese, softened
bullet2 T sugar
bullet1 can (10-oz.) refrigerated flaky biscuits
bullet2 T sugar
bullet2 T margarine, melted
bullet2 cups fruit (strawberries, peaches, kiwi quarters, cantaloupe or honeydew melon balls)

Directions: Heat oven to 400˚. Grease or spray a cookie sheet. In medium saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Stir in water. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils and thickens, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. In small bowl or measuring cup, combine egg yolks with 1⁄2 teaspoon lemon peel and lemon juice. Add small amount to hot cornstarch mixture and stir. Combine egg mixture with cornstarch mixture in saucepan. Blend well and cook just until sauce starts to bubble. Stir constantly. Remove from heat. Add cream cheese. Beat until smooth. Beat egg whites until frothy. Add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold into cooled lemon mixture. Chill.

Separate dough into 10 biscuits. Combine remaining sugar and lemon peel. Gently press 2 biscuits together for each shortcake. Dip top and sides of each in margarine, then in sugar mixture. Place on prepared cookie sheet. Bake at 400˚ for 12 to 16 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Just before serving, fold fruit into lemon sauce. Split shortcakes. Fill with sauce. Top with additional lemon mixture. Makes 5 servings.

Strawberry/Peach Shortcake Ring

Ingredients:

bullet2 pints (4 cups) fresh strawberries, whole or sliced
bullet3 peaches, sliced
bullet1⁄4 cup Cointreau (orange) liqueur or 1⁄4  cup orange juice
bullet2 T sugar
bullet2 cans (10-oz.) refrigerated flaky layer biscuits
bullet1⁄4 c (4 T) margarine or butter, melted
bullet1⁄2 c sugar
bullet2 T grated orange peel (rind from 2 oranges)
bulletWhipped cream, sweetened

Directions: Heat oven to 375˚. Grease or spray a 6 1⁄2-cup ring mold or 12-cup fluted tube pan. In large bowl, combine strawberries and peaches. Add liqueur and 2 tablespoons sugar. Gently stir to coat all the fruit and set aside. Combine 1⁄2 cup sugar and orange peel. Separate dough into 20 biscuits. Dip biscuits into melted margarine and then into sugar/orange-peel mixture. Place biscuits on edge in tube pan until biscuits fill the pan. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan immediately. Fill center of ring with fruit. To serve, slice ring, top with fruit and a dollop of whipped cream. Makes 10 servings.

 

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