Makes 6 3-inch shortcakes
The key to making perfect scones and shortcakes is to use self-rising flour. Sifting the flour will add air and ensure that the scones are light. Work quickly and lightly and handle the dough as little as possible.
2 cups self-rising flour, sifted*
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup candied ginger, diced
5 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 cup milk, approximately
*If you don’t have self-rising flour, use 1 teaspoon baking powder for every cup of flour.
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. and grease a baking sheet.
2. Sift the flour into a mixing bowl. Add sugar, salt, and candied ginger. Cut the butter into the bowl with a knife or pastry cutter. Using your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Make a well in the center of the mixture and drop in the egg. Adding a portion of the milk at a time, stir the egg and milk into the dough using a rounded-edge knife. How much milk you use depends on the size of the egg. The dough should incorporate all the flour, but it shouldn’t be wet and sticky.
3. Turn the dough onto a floured surface. Using your fingertips, gently smooth out any cracks in the dough. Lightly press out the dough or roll lightly with a rolling pin until about 3/4 inch thick. Cut with a 3-inch round cutter dipped in flour. Place rounds on the greased baking sheet and brush the remaining milk on top with a pastry brush. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.
4. After removing the shortcakes from the oven, put them onto a cooling rack covered with a tea towel. Place another tea towel on top of the scones to trap the steam and to keep the scones from drying out as they cool.
Strawberry rhubarb sauce
2 stalks rhubarb trimmed and chopped into 1/2 pieces (2 cups or 1 lb.)
4-5 cardamom pods husked and ground (1/2 teaspoon ground)
Juice + zest of 1 orange (I like Valencia oranges)
1/2 cup agave syrup (or 3/4 cup white sugar + 1/2 cup water)
1 pint strawberries, hulled and quartered (2 cups)
1. Combine the chopped rhubarb, cardamon, orange juice, and agave into a large sauce pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat for 10 minutes until rhubarb softens into a sauce, about 10 minutes.
2. In a separate bowl, add the quartered strawberries and pour in cooked rhubarb sauce. Stir to combine. Cool and then chill in the refrigerator until ready to use. Leftover sauce can be used atop of vanilla ice cream for dessert, or with Greek yogurt for breakfast.
To assemble the red, white, & blue shortcakes
Split the shortcakes in half. Spoon over strawberry rhubarb sauce over each half. Add a dollop of whipped cream and then garnish with blueberries.
Happy Fourth of July!