While fresh peaches are available most of the year, the fresh local ones that appear mid to late summer are decidedly more flavorful and actually look and taste like peaches. While there are lots of good desserts to use them in, fresh peaches are showcased best when included in something simple where they are the star and the other ingredients play a supporting role. Fresh peach shortcake is one of those desserts, and the following recipe, which comes from my Mother, was used for both fresh Strawberry Shortcake and this decadent Peach Shortcake.
It’s important to note that “shortcake” does not consist of angel food cake, pound cake, or those little sponge cakes sold in the produce department. Shortcake is a crumbly biscuit or scone. Shortcakes are served hot from the oven and can be split, buttered and covered with sweetened fruit and whipped cream, as in the following recipe. It’s explained in detail in the ”Real” Strawberry Shortcake article on this site.
Peaches come in many varieties, some having white flesh and some yellow (both are used in the shortcake pictured); there is little if any difference in taste. Nectarines are very similar to peaches and can be used in this recipe interchangeably. Early peaches, called “clingstone” are very frustrating to separate from the pit, but they taste wonderful. Any kind of local fresh peaches can be used in shortcake.
Peaches are most easily peeled by placing them in a pot of boiling water for one minute, then plunging them in a bowl of ice water; the skins slip off easily. If you’re planning to prepare the peaches ahead, ascorbic acid mixture (such as Fruit Fresh) can be mixed in with the sugar to prevent the peaches from turning brown. They can also be tossed in a little lemon juice prior to adding the sugar.
4 to 6 cups fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 to 1 cup sugar, (according to taste and the sweetness of the fruit)
2 cups flour
4 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup whipping cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Toss the peach slices in the lemon juice, then sprinkle with the sugar;
- Set aside until the sugar is dissolved in the juices, stirring occasionally.
- Mix the flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Cut the butter into pieces and cut it in until it looks like small peas.
- Mix the egg and whipping cream, pour it into the flour mixture, and mix well.
- Transfer the mixture to a floured surface and pat or roll into a circle 8" in diameter and about 1" thick.
- Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and cut into 8 wedges.
- Place the wedges on a parchment-lined baking sheet without crowding.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
- Meanwhile, whip the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form; sprinkle in the powdered sugar and continue whipping until stiff.
- Assembly: Remove the shortcakes from the oven; place each one on a serving dish, split and spread liberally with butter.
- Spoon some of the peach mixture over the bottom biscuit and place the top biscuit over the peaches.
- Top with whipped cream and serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 614 Calories from Fat 330
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 54% Protein 4% Carb. 42%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 37 g
Saturated Fat 22 g
Cholesterol 141 mg
Sodium 480 mg
Total Carbohydrate 65 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 25 g
Protein 6 g
Vitamin A 38% Vitamin C 11% Calcium 0% Iron 3%