Wednesday, April 9, 2014

#SaveTheBiscuit - Just Peachy Shortcake with Toasted Pecans & Maple Drizzle

Who's ready for some more biscuit deliciousness???  This recipe is one of my personal favorites when it comes to desserts that are perfect for the upcoming spring and summer season.  It's my take on a traditional shortcake.  Sky-high buttermilk biscuits take the place of the usual shortcake, and juicy peaches mixed with a little brown sugar make a mouth-watering filling.  Freshly whipped cream, a drizzle of maple syrup and toasted pecans take this dessert to stellar status.

Recently, I shared the news that my blog had been featured in Wiregrass Living magazine.  This recipe was one of the dishes in my feature.  It's definitely a hit around our house.   In fact, I have a confession to make - After photographing this dish, I unashamedly devoured the.whole.thing.  I mean, I couldn't let such a beautiful thing go to complete waste!?!  Shhh...Don't tell anyone.  ;)  A girl's gotta indulge every now and then.

I know that fresh peaches aren't always easy to come by this time of year, so a bag of sliced, frozen peaches would make a fine substitute if you're in a pinch.  Just defrost and proceed as written.  This entire recipe comes together quickly and the steps are super easy.

Here in the south, we southerners are serious about our homemade biscuits.  There's a debate about whether using salted butter or shortening is better when it comes to this topic.  I've always been a firm believer in butter, until very recently.  The past few times I've made biscuits, I only had shortening butter to be found.  I'm slowly becoming a shortening believer.  My biscuits came out mile-high and were super light and flaky. I've also perfected my kneading method and fold over the dough several times while kneading.  This helps to create beautiful layers.

This is the 3rd installment of my #savethebiscuit series, in which I've partnered with the nice folks at White Lily flour.

Bon Appetit, my friends!

"Just Peachy" Shortcake with Toasted Pecans, Buttermilk Biscuits & Maple Drizzle
Serves 5-6
6 large peaches, peeled and sliced into wedges
3 Tbsp light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 cups self-rising flour, preferably White Lily
1/4 cup cold, salted butter OR vegetable shortening, cut into cubes
3/4 cup cold buttermilk
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pure maple syrup

For the peaches:
Mix together the sliced peaches and brown sugar in a medium bowl.  Let the mixture stand for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

For the pecans:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Place the pecans on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 5-7 minutes, or until lightly toasted and fragrant.  Set to the side.To make the biscuits:
Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or coat with no-stick cooking spray.

Pour flour into a large bowl.  Using a pastry blender, cut 1/4 cup cold butter (or shortening) into the flour until butter pieces are the size of peas.
  Slowly blend in buttermilk using a fork, just until dough begins to come together, being careful not to over-mix.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and very gently knead the dough 2-3 times, just enough to bring it together.  Pat or roll the dough into a 1/2-inch thick disc.  Cut biscuits using a floured 3-inch biscuit cutter, being careful not to twist as you cut.  Repeat until all dough is used.

Place the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet, so that they are almost touching.
  Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.

For the whipped cream:
While the biscuits are baking, combine the heavy whipping cream, white sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer.  With the whisk attachment, beat on medium speed until soft peaks form.

To assemble:
Cut each biscuit in half and place a heaping spoonful of the peaches over each biscuit bottom.  Next, add a generous dollop of the whipped cream, followed by a sprinkling of toasted pecans.  Top with the crown of each biscuit, and finish with a drizzle of  maple syrup.  Garnish with extra chopped pecans, if desired.

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