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?
Peach Bourbon Shortcake
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup butter cut into small pieces
- ⅔ cup buttermilk plus extra for brushing
- 1 tablespoon coarse sugar
- 2 cups sliced peaches
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of sea salt
Whipped cream cheese
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Make the cornmeal biscuits. Combine 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour with ½ cup yellow cornmeal, 2 ½ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, and ¼ cup sugar. Cut in ½ cup butter with a pastry cutter or with your hands until the butter is fully incorporated. Slowly add ⅔ cup buttermilk, mixing continuously until the dough comes together. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the freezer for 20 minutes.
- Dust a clean work counter with flour. Roll out the dough into a rectangle about ¼ inch thick. Fold the dough in half horizontally then in half vertically to create a small rectangle. Dust more flour and roll out the dough again about ½ inch thick. Cut the dough into 6 biscuits and transfer to the baking sheet. Brush the tops with buttermilk and sprinkle coarse sugar on top. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Meanwhile, marinate the peaches. Slice enough peaches to make 2 cups, about 4-5 peaches. Gently toss the peaches with 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon bourbon, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and a pinch of sea salt. Let sit for 20 minutes.
- Whip 4 ounces softened cream cheese with ¼ cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon milk until well combined. Whip ½ cup heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.
- Slice the biscuits in half and top with the whipped cream cheese and bourbon peaches. Serve immediately.
**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 8x10 inches in length. Fold the dough into quarters and then roll it out again until it's about ½ 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!
For more peach inspiration check out this peach crumble Kefir cake recipe!