Shortcake is my very favorite springtime dessert. Berries begin to peek out from among the sea of apples and pears at the market (in my area, anyway), and those berries deserve to be showcased! Rainbow Shortcake doesn’t force you to select one fruit – not when there are so many wonderful options this time of year. By including several fruits with different colors and flavor profiles, you end up with a dish that is both beautiful and delicious while remaining remarkably simple to prepare.
Rainbow shortcake does not require any expensive or unusual ingredients, and feeds a crowd. This is a GREAT dish to prepare for a backyard visit with a few friends. Mix up a pitcher of lemonade or sangria, and you’ve got yourself a springtime party.
2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup cold butter (not margarine)
2/3 cup milk
1 pint whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Step 1) Using a pastry cutter or two forks held together in one hand, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and butter in a large bowl. Use the pastry cutter or forks to cut through the butter until the mixture resembles little crumbs. Be patient – this isn’t difficult, but it takes a few minutes.
Step 2) Add egg and milk to the butter mixture and stir until just combined.
Step 3) Drop the shortcake mixture in ten “piles” onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I highly recommend parchment paper for this recipe. Your shortcakes will spread a bit when they bake, so be sure to leave a few inches between piles. Why do I keep saying “piles?” I want you to make little mountains on your baking sheet – don’t flatten them! We’re making shortcakes, not cookies.
Step 4) Bake your shortcakes in a preheated, 425 degree oven for 16 minutes or until golden brown. Place your shortcakes on a cooling rack.
Step 5) When shortcakes have cooled completely, slice them in half as if you were slicing rolls to make sandwiches.
Step 6) In a medium size, scrupulously clean bowl, beat whipping cream and powdered sugar using the highest speed on your electric mixer for 2 or 3 minutes, until you have fluffy whipped cream.
Step 7) Assemble your shortcakes immediately before serving. Place a heaping tablespoon of whipped cream and a few pieces of fruit inside of each sliced shortcake. Top each shortcake with more whipped cream and more fruit. Enjoy!