Peach Shortcake with Maple Whipped Cream
July 21, 2020 by Nicole Collins
Anybody else over 2020 yet?
I know that's a silly question. I am fully aware that basically everyone on the planet is terrified to think what could possibly happen next in this dumpster fire of a year.
Also, why does it feel like 2020 has been 7 years long? Seriously, there are events that feel like they happened umpteen years ago; but in reality, it's been like 4 months.
On top of basically being terrified to be around another human being, I'm soooo over wearing masks. Now, don't worry. I'm not one of those people that says “F@#% the man. I'm not wearing a mask”. I'm wearing them when I have to go out. I'm just not going out anywhere other than the grocery store maybe once or twice a month. That's how much I hate wearing them.
I had an awkward mask experience at the grocery store last week, actually. Now, you guys know how much I love grocery shopping. And, my favorite part of shopping is picking out produce. It's a whole process of squeezing and smelling for me. But since all of this COVID craziness, I've been super conscious to make sure I don't touch any produce without a produce bag over my hand.
So I'm in the freshly stocked produce with the gorgeous peaches front and center, and I knew that I needed to get some. So, I start squeezing to find the right texture, and I automatically go to my second check...the smell test. Well, guess what. The smell test doesn't work with a mask on. And, I probably looked like a darn fool at the grocery store at 6:45 in the morning with a bag wrapped around my hand putting a peach up to my mask covered nose. Insert eyeroll here -->
At that point, I was committed to the peach in my hand, which actually was not the sweetest peach in town by any means. And that's how today's recipe was born. So today, we're making Peach Shortcake with Maple Whipped Cream!
Despite my long and disappointing peach story, this recipe is actually pretty easy to put together! We just need a little patience since two of our 3 components require cooking, and we don't want this to be a piping hot dessert.
Let's start with the shortcake. We're actually going to cheat and use the same recipe that we used for my Easy Strawberry Shortcake. So, we use a store bough baking mix, a little heavy cream, and a little brown sugar for our dough. That's it! Roll it, cut it, top it with a little turbinado sugar for texture, bake it, and let them cool down to room temperature. Component one...done!
Next, we need to make our peaches. A peach a little closer to the firm/under ripe side seemed to work best for this recipe. We're going to cook our peaches with some cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla bean paste, and a pinch of salt until they become nice and syrupy, but we don't want our peaches to turn to mush while they're cooking. So, using a firmer peach helps us achieve a softer texture that still has a little bit of a bite to it. Let the peaches cool once they're finished cooking, and component two is done!
The final piece to this dessert puzzle is the maple whipped cream. Making this sweetened cream is as simple as beating heavy cream and maple syrup together, adding a little powdered sugar to help stabilize it, and waiting for the rest of our dessert components to cool so we can assemble. Now as a note, maple syrup means real maple syrup here. We don't want the fake pancake syrup that we squeezed all over our pancakes as a kid. The real stuff is a significantly better quality with a significantly more delicious, more authentic, and more sweet and caramelized flavor.
Once all of our components have cooled down, all that's left to do is assemble. Slice the shortcake in half, and pile whipped cream and peaches between each layer. The cake is slightly sweet and crumbly. The peaches are sweet and warm thanks to the vanilla and cinnamon. And, the whipped cream is the perfect sweet compliment that adds a cool and creamy note to the whole dessert. And despite each component having touches of sweetness, this dessert is not cloyingly sweet at all.
Ok, guys. Stand with me in solidarity and tell me your awkward mask stories. Please tell me that I'm not the only one that hasn't and probably never will adjust to life with a mask.
For now, enjoy! And, let's eat!
Peach Shortcake with Maple Whipped Cream
Serves: 4-6 Print
For the Biscuits:
1 cup all purpose baking mix (like Bisquick)
½ cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp turbinado sugar
flour, for dusting
For the Peaches:
2 firm peaches, sliced
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
½ tbsp water
salt, to taste
For the Whipped Cream:
½ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp powdered sugar
mint, for garnish
Make the Biscuits: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, add baking mix, heavy cream, and brown sugar. Stir until the dough is combined and starts to come together. Lightly dust a clean surface with flour. Turn out the dough, and knead it about 10 times. Lightly flour a rolling pin, and roll the dough to ½ inch thickness. Using a 3 inch round cutter, cut out 4 biscuits. If desired, you can re-roll the scraps and get another 1-2 biscuits. Place biscuits in the center of the prepared baking sheet with the edges touching. Brush the tops of the biscuits with heavy cream, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, make the Peaches: Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add peaches, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla bean paste, water, and a pinch of salt. Stir well to coat the peaches. Saute peaches for 15-20 mins, stirring occasionally, until the peaches have softened and become syrupy. Set aside to cool.
Make the Whipped Cream: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add heavy cream and maple syrup. Whisk on high for 1-2 mins until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar. Whisk on high for about another minute until stiff peaks form. Set aside in the fridge until shortcakes and peaches have cooled.
Assemble the Shortcakes: Split biscuits in half through the center. Top the bottom half with peaches, then whipped cream. Place the top half of the biscuit over the whipped cream. Top with more peaches and whipped cream. Garnish with mint, if desired. Serve!
*We want to use peaches that are slightly unripe and still pretty firm. This ensures they won't turn to mush when we cook them. They'll be perfectly softened but still have a little bite.
*If you're not serving all of these at once, you can make all of the components in advance and assemble when you're ready to serve. Store the biscuits tightly sealed at room temperature, and store the peaches and cream separately in the fridge.
*I really like vanilla bean paste, because you get the concentration of an extract but the aesthetics of the little black specks form a vanilla bean. I also really love the sweetness it adds to the peaches. You could substitute vanilla extract, if necessary.
*When you whip your cream, making sure your things are really cold will help the cream whip faster. I put my whisk attachment in the freezer for about 15 mins before I whip my cream. And, I take the cream straight from the fridge to the bowl when I'm ready to whip. If you don't want to break out the stand mixer for this small amount of whipped cream, you can certainly use a hand mixer. It'll just take a few minutes longer to whip the cream.