Everyone loves berry shortcake, but too often fresh berries are marinated in sugar to extract their juices, which usually makes them too sweet and mushy besides.
By contrast, the very best berry shortcakes are made with a mixture of frozen and fresh berries. Simply defrost the berries in the microwave and crush them lightly with a fork. Stir in fresh berries and add sugar to taste — and like magic you have firm, fresh berries in a thick mixed berry sauce!
If you don’t want to make biscuits, spoon the berries over slices of angel food cake or pound cake. But don't miss the whipped topping: the delectably sweet and tangy flavor of our Whipped Sweet & Sour Cream may make keep you from serving plain ol' whipped cream ever again!
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a heavyweight baking sheet and set aside.
Put the flour, salt, baking powder and 1/4 cup of the sugar into a food processor. Process for 30 seconds to blend. Sprinkle the pieces of cold butter over the mixture and pulse until the mixture is the consistency of coarse crumbs with some pieces the size of peas.
In a small bowl, mix the egg with the milk or cream. Pour over the flour mixture. Pulse just until the mixture clumps together. Don’t process the dough into a ball.
Empty the dough onto a floured work surface. Knead it lightly to make a ball, then flatten it into an 8x4-inch rectangle. Cut the rectangle in half lengthwise, and again into thirds, making 6 squares. Place them 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
Brush the tops of the biscuit squares with the egg white and sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. Remove from oven and cool slightly.
To make the berry mixture, place the frozen berries in a bowl and microwave for 2 minutes or until partially thawed. Crush them lightly with a fork. Stir in the fresh berries and sugar to taste.
To make the whipped topping, place the heavy cream in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Add the sour cream and powdered sugar. Continue beating on high until soft peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
To assemble the shortcakes, cut the biscuits in half crosswise. For each serving, place a biscuit bottom on a plate, cover it with berries and some juice, then top with a generous dollop of whipped topping and the biscuit top.
The biscuit dough may be refrigerated for 2 to 3 hours after being cut into squares; separate the pieces with wax paper and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. When you’re ready to bake, lay the dough squares out on the baking sheet and continue as directed.
Once the berries are combined, they may be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 hours.
The whipped topping may be refrigerated for up to 8 hours before serving.