Vanilla Scented Rhubarb and Strawberry Shortcakes with Gingered Crème Fraîche.
I’ve got another dessert for you. That’s two desserts in a row. That can only mean one thing. My traffic is in need of a sugar rush. Sweets bring readers there is no denying this. So whenever I feel like my stats need a little “artificial sweetening” I pull out a dessert like these Rhubarb and Strawberry Shortcakes.
Rhubarb and Strawberry Shortcakes
But I have a reason for this, you see I am leaving town for a couple of weeks. Heck I am leaving the country even, and I’ll be honest I don’t want you to forget me while I am gone. I know that sounds pathetic, and it assumes I must think I am unmemorable. But really it’s just a device I am using to let you know I am going to Norway.
While I am away I have arranged for a couple of weeks of guest posts. These posts are not going to be quite like the typical food posts you might see on Sippity Sup. Because I challenged these writers with a specific creative task. For now I’ll keep the details to myself. But come back tomorrow when I kick this series off with my own answer to this (secret) challenge. I’ll reveal all the details and all the players then.
|1||lb||rhubarb (cut into 1/2-inch chunks)|
|3⁄4||c||sugar (plus 1 tablespoon for the shortcakes & 2 teaspoons for the cream)|
|1||two-inch piece ginger (peeled and halved lengthwise)|
|2||c||heavy cream (divided, plus more as needed)|
|1⁄2||c||candied ginger (minced, as garnish)|
|2||c||fresh strawberries (cut into 1/2 inch thick slices|
Vanilla Scented Rhubarb and Strawberry Shortcakes
For the rhubarb: Toss the rhubarb, 3/4 cups sugar, fresh peeled ginger, and cardamom pods in a glass container. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Turn the mixture once or twice to evenly distribute the sugar.
Place a fine-mesh sieve over a medium saucepan. Gently pour the rhubarb mixture through the sieve into the saucepan to collect the accumulated juices. Remove the sieve with the rhubarb and place over a bowl. Remove and discard the ginger and cardamom.
Bring the liquid and any undissolved sugar in the saucepan to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring gently, until all of the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Add the rhubarb to the saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb just begins to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the rhubarb mixture from the heat and reserve at room temperature. The rhubarb will continue to soften as it sits.
For the vanilla shortcakes: Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Sift flour, salt, baking powder & 1 tablespoon sugar into a large mixing bowl. Slit the vanilla bean and, using a sharp paring knife, scrape the seeds into flour mixture and reserve the pod for another use. Stir the flour mixture to distribute the vanilla seeds.
Add 1 cup cream and mix into the flour with a large wooden spoon or silicone spatula. Add more cream as necessary until the dry ingredients become a firm ball of dough with no dry spots; it should not be sticky.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead about 20 times, until the dough becomes smooth but not shiny, and firm but pliable. Pat the dough into a 9-inch square.
Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut 8 rounds of biscuit dough as close to one another as possible, re-rolling the dough gently if necessary.
Brush each shortcake on both sides with the melted butter to lightly coat, and place on an un-greased baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake until puffed and lightly golden, about 15 minutes.
Place the shortcakes on a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
For the whipped cream: Place the stainless-steel bowl and whip attachment for an electric mixer in the freezer 10 minutes before whipping the cream. Place the crème fraîche, 1 cup cream, and 2 teaspoons sugar in the chilled bowl and whip on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes. Gently stir in most of the candied ginger, reserving just enough as garnish for all 8 servings. Reserve in the refrigerator until needed.
Place the saucepan with the rhubarb mixture back on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the strawberries and cook until the strawberries are just heated through but still firm, about 2 minutes. Tease the shortcakes apart with a fork. Divide the rhubarb and strawberry mixture among the shortcakes (about 1/2 cup per serving) and finish each shortcake with a small dollop of whipped cream, and a sprinkle of reserved candied ginger.
SERIOUS FUN FOOD