Girl’s Night In…Very Berry Fun!

Tonight, on this wintery night, my girlfriends and I decided to stay warm indoors, watch a movie, pop open a bottle of champagne, and make a fancy dessert.

We had originally decided to make mini strawberry shortcakes.  Much to our dismay, there were absolutely no fresh strawberries at the store (I forgot that we are wayyy past the summery strawberry season).   But not to worry, we quickly improvised, and settled for a fruity, berry shortcake.

I looked through many different recipes online, and came up with this beautiful and absolutely delicious fruit and berry shortcake.  It brings me back to summer nights…

Here’s what I did…

What we were listening to: “Glitter in the Air” by Pink

Ingredients:

Fruit filling

  • 1 pound fresh blueberries
  • 2 fresh kiwi’s, peeled and chopped
  • 2 mandarin tangerines, peeled, separated, and cut into pieces
  • 3 tbsp granulated sugar (or to taste)

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar

Scones

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1/3 cup cold, unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup half and half or light whipping cream

Egg Wash

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp half and half

Blueberry Sauce

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 pound fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions:

1) The fruit filling. Wash and slice the blueberries, kiwi, and tangerines.  Combine with sugar and set aside to let the juices come together and macerate in sugary sweetness.

2) Start the whipped cream.  Combine heavy cream, vanilla, and sugar in a bowl suitable for an electric mixer.  Stir together and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  You should also refrigerate the electric mixing blades with your cream, so that they maintain a cool temperature later, when you are whipping the cream.

 

3) The scones. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cloves in a large bowl.  Cut cold butter into cubes and mix gently into the flour mixture with two knifes (or with your hands) until it resembles a lumpy, coarse mixture.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg, cream, and vanilla together.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix minimally.  You want to just get everything combined without over-mixing (That could lead to some tough scones!).

Next, on a lightly floured surface, knead your dough gently 4-5 times.  Pat and flatten gently into a circle, so that the dough is about 1 inch in thickness.  Then, take a round cookie cutter (about 3 inches wide), cut out your scones, and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Continue to knead, flatten, and cut, the dough until there is no more left.  Brush your scones with an egg wash (Egg and cream mixed together).

 

 

 

 

 

Put them in the oven for 15 minutes, or until they are golden brown.  Once they have cooled, slice them in half.

4) The blueberry sauce. This sauce really marries all the berry flavors together in the dessert.  In a small saucepan, combine water, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and cornstarch.  Add the blueberries and let it simmer on medium heat.  Add the vanilla and lemon juice.  Continue to cook the sauce until it has reached the desired thickness.  (I cooked it for about 10-15 mins).

 

5) Back to the cream. Now that your cream has had time to chill in the fridge, it is time to whip it up!  Using the electric mixer with the chilled mixing blades, whip the cream until stiff peaks begin to form.

http://bakewithsonia.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/blueberryshortcake_0047.jpg

And now, the time you have been waiting for!  The assembly!

Grab a glass or small bowl.  Layer some fruit filling on the bottom.  Then, place the bottom half of the scone.  Cover with blueberry sauce.  Then, put more fruit filling on the scone.  Cover with the other half of the scone.  Spoon on some more blueberry sauce, and top with fresh whip cream!  Beautifully delicious!

Because this dessert has many steps, I advise you to either prepare parts of this dessert beforehand, or prepare each part in this order, so that everything is ready in a timely fashion.  (And you won’t have to wait to dig in!)

 We took our desserts, popped open a bottle of Trader Joes’ Peach Champagne (the BEST), and enjoyed as we watched Amelie, an excellent French film.

The night was definitely a success!

Pictures courtesy of Elena Czubiak and Chanel Adikuono

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