Shortcake is a choice dessert for a healthy makeover, since it’s not terribly sweet to begin with. By subbing whole grain flour for typical refined white flour, and using honey and maple syrup to sweeten, I’ve been able to create a treat that you don’t have to feel terribly guilty eating. Rich and buttery, and not too dense, with just the right amount of sweetness.
One beautiful aspect of this sunshiny treat is its adaptability to seasonal produce or your personal tastes. You can flavor the cream with chocolate, espresso, or a liqueur or extract of your choice, if you’d like. Or swap the berries out for stone fruits or figs in the summer, pears or apples in the fall, and citrus or persimmon in the winter.
Whether you plan to observe the Easter holiday this weekend or just want an excuse to celebrate the season, this shortcake, bursting with plump, ripe berries and luscious whipped cream, is sure to be a hit on any spring table.
2 cups whole wheat pastry, einkorn, or sprouted wheat flour*
½ cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
½ cup cold butter
? cup buttermilk (click here for homemade buttermilk recipe)
3 tablespoons honey
1 cup heavy cream, preferably raw
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sliced strawberries
½ cup each blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries
*The Nourishing Traditions cookbook has an extensive chapter on sprouted grains, nuts, and seeds.
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, soda, and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, and honey. Set aside.
2. Using a pastry fork, electric mixer, or your hands, cut butter into flour mixture until crumbly, with butter chunks about the size of peas. Add liquid ingredients, and blend lightly with a spoon or your hands until dough just comes together.
3. Dump out onto a lightly floured work surface, and pat or gently roll into a rectangle about 7 inches by 13 inches. Trim edges with a sharp knife or cutter, being careful to cut straight down so that you don’t tear the dough.
4. Cut rectangle into six 3-inch squares. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until golden, about 12–15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool for at least 15 minutes before assembling.
5. Meanwhile, gently combine berries in a medium bowl. Whip cream with maple syrup and vanilla to soft peaks.
6. When biscuits have cooled, slice each in half horizontally. Spoon a big dollop of cream atop each biscuit bottom. Top with a nice spoonful of berries, and a little more cream. Top with remaining biscuit halves.
To choose your organically grown and fresh ingredients wisely, use the following criteria:
·chemical- and hormone-free meat
·pastured-raised, organic eggs
·whole, unrefined grains
·virgin, unrefined, first-press organic oils
·whole-food, unrefined sweeteners
·pure, clean, spring water
·raw and/or cultured milk and cream products