Last year I wanted to create a different type of shortcake dessert. My ultimate goal on Cherry on My Sundae is to provide a recipe that’s entirely unique. And so I decided to try and make strawberry shortcake but with strawberry melon pan instead of the biscuits. It sounded like a great idea but it turned out just to be mediocre. This year, I’m crawling back to shortcakes but decided to stick to the more traditional recipe with just a couple of alterations. This peach bourbon shortcake has it all from sweet peaches to buttery cornmeal biscuits to creamy whipped cream cheese. Oh and just a hint of booze, because well, it’s the summer and who can say no to that?
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Biscuits had a reputation for being incredibly difficult to master. I remember the first time I made a biscuit, they were flat little cookies rather than biscuits. Nowadays you can find loads of tips and tricks online that can help you master how to make biscuits. Today we’re doing a little something different and making sweet cornmeal biscuits. The addition of cornmeal adds a lovely texture that makes it perfect for these peach bourbon shortcakes.
To make the biscuits, first sure all of the ingredients are cold. If your kitchen is especially warm, you can even chill the dry ingredients to ensure success. Use a pastry cutter or your hands to cut the butter into the flour. By the time the butter is fully incorporated, the mixture should resemble coarse sand. You can use a food processor but use the “pulse” button, making sure to mix just until combined. Add the buttermilk and mix until a dough comes together. This dough was a bit wetter than my usual biscuit doughs but not to worry, it will turn out great.
Chill the biscuits in the freezer for 20 minutes or prevent the butter from melting. When it’s firmed up a bit, roll it out into a rectangle about 8×10 inches in length. Fold the dough into quarters and then roll it out again until it’s about 1/2 inch thick. I like to use the folding method to create beautiful layers in the biscuit. If the dough starts to get too warm after the fold, pop it in the fridge for another 15 minutes or so.
Cut the biscuits into 6 portions and brush the tops with buttermilk and coarse sugar – another great finishing touch. Bake until golden brown, rotating the pan halfway through the cooking process.
Now step back and admire your work. Just by looking at the sides, you can tell these are going to be some soft cornmeal biscuits!
While the biscuits are cooling, marinate the peaches. I personally prefer yellow peaches but you can go with nectarines, berries, apricots, really any fruit your heart desires. Toss the fruit with just a touch of bourbon, vanilla, honey, and sea salt. You can omit the bourbon if you’re not a fan.
A short 20 minutes later and you can see the peaches softening and the juices sitting on the bottom of the bowl. I can drink those peach juices just by itself, it’s so good!
Whip up some cream cheese and you’re ready to assemble the peach bourbon shortcakes.
Unlike my not-so-great strawberry melon pan shortcakes, I knew this peach recipe was going to be a success. The whipped cream cheese adds more depth than regular whipped cream and pairs perfectly with the juicy peaches and crumbly buttery cornmeal biscuits. I guess some dishes are just better in the traditional way!
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