Yesterday I made a batch of Cornmeal Shortcakes with Peaches almost as described in this book that I mentioned earlier. I followed the recipe about as close as I follow any recipe and I liked it. I liked it well enough that I packed one up in a container and hauled it all the way into Chicago for Joseph to try. He liked it a lot. Today I made another one but I enhanced it by adding in a layer of strawberries which I really liked. Joseph agreed that this extra layer was a good move. Gabe, my 19 month old, devoured more than his share...grabbing the fork at one point because I wasn't going fast enough for him.
Cornmeal Shortcakes with Peaches (my way)adapted from Fresh Everyday
6 large peaches
1/2 c sugar
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c cornmeal
1/4 sugar plus 2 tablespoons
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
8 T cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 c cold, well-shaken buttermilk
Stir the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking bowder, baking soda, and salt together. Use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour. Blend until mixture forms pea-sized clumps. Add the buttermilk and stir until the dough just starts to come together. Use a light hand so the dough does not become too tough.
Flour the countertop and turn the dough out onto the flour. Use your hands to pull the dough together into a disc shape...you made have to lightly knead it to incorporate all of the flour. Roll the dough out to about 3/4 of an inch thick. Cut into 6 wedges and transfer to a baking sheet (a pizza pan works well) and brush will buttermilk and then sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, drop 5 peaches into boiling water for about 30 seconds and then plunge into an ice bath. Peel and slices peaches into a bowl. Add 1/2 c sugar. After 15 minutes you can mash or puree peach mixture.
To assemble shortcakes slice one biscuit and layer with peach puree, whipped cream, fresh peach slices, strawberry slices, and then repeat.