And don't judge my whipped-cream-to-shortcake ratio. It was delicious and I have no regrets.
Tonight, I combined my tried-and-true recipe for the actual shortcakes, which I made twice this past summer, with a new recipe I found in a magazine for the filling. The original recipe calls for honey in the cakes, the strawberries (it's technically a summer dish), and the whipped cream, but I was concerned that the honey wouldn't pair as well with cranberries as just plain old cane sugar does, so I went easy on it in the cranberry sauce, used regular powdered sugar in the whipped cream, but still put the honey in the biscuits.
The dessert may sound a little complicated, but it comes together easily. I made everything this afternoon, and then just reheated the shortcakes in the oven at 200 degrees F for five minutes and warmed the sauce back up on the stove when we were ready for dessert.
Recipe for Cranberry-Pear Shortcakes with Whipped Cream
Ingredients (For the Cranberry-Pear Sauce):
1 12-oz. bag fresh cranberries
2 ripe pears, peeled, chopped, and finely chopped
1/2 cup water (plus more if needed)
1/3 cup sugar
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Turn heat down to medium-low and simmer, stirring often, until mixture thickens and forms a syrup. The original recipe says this will take about five minutes, but it took me more like fifteen. I have a tendency to have things on lower rather than higher heat, because I have a bizarre (unfounded) fear of burning things.
Ingredients (For the Shortcakes and Whipped Cream):
1-3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp sea salt
2/3 cup cold buttermilk
8 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
3 tbsp honey
3/4 cup whipping cream
3 tbsp powdered sugar, or to taste
Preheat oven to 475 degrees, and make sure oven rack is in the middle position. In a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, and sea salt; stir with a whisk to combine. In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, butter, egg, and honey; stir well to combine. Add wet ingredients into dry, and fold together using a rubber spatula. The mixture will be quite thick.
Depending on how many people you are serving, scoop biscuits out by the 1/4-cup or 1/3-cup and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The original recipe says it makes six servings, but the biscuits are pretty big in that case. I made nine this time, which made the perfect size serving for after a celebratory steak dinner! (My fourteen year old brother came in second place today in a big tennis tournament for sixteen-and-under players.)
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, watching closely to see that the tops are just golden. Be careful, because the bottoms will burn quickly if they are left in too long.
For the whipped cream, combine cream and powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed until soft peaks form.
I forbid you to use store-bought whipped cream in a spray can. That is not real whipped cream and would be doing this fabulous
Serve and enjoy!
I love this dessert because it looks really elegant but doesn't take too much time to prepare.