SHORTCAKE RECIPE

2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter, cut in chunks
2 tablespoons shortening, chilled
¾ cup half and half

Place flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a food processor. Pulse a few seconds until mixed. Add butter and shortening and pulse until mixture looks like cornmeal. Dump it in a mixing bowl and stir in the cream until a ball forms. Pat it out 1/2” thick and cut with large biscuit cutter, or drop by large spoonfuls onto greased baking sheet, then pat into shape.

Bake about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Shortcake recipe
Shortcrust pastry in food processor bowl. Selective focus.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN “SHORT”?

There’s a reason it’s called shortcake. A “short” dough is one that is crumbly or mealy. It’s the opposite of a “long” dough, meaning flaky, like good pie crust. Both depend on solid fat, i.e. shortening or butter, and technique makes the difference. For a short dough, you cut the fat into the flour until it has a cornmeal-like texture. For a long dough, you leave the butter lumps as large as peas.

TIPS:

•Never overwork the dough. Don’t knead it. It’s best to drop it on the baking sheet by spoonfuls, then coax it gently into shape.

•Wait until shortcake is cool before splitting it. Otherwise, it’s apt to crumble.

•Use two forks to split a shortbread instead of a knife.

•Let your imagination run wild with toppings—the only requirement is that your toppings have enough juice for the shortbread to soak up.

•Serve immediately after topping.


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