The summer is winding down and if I have one regret about my otherwise enjoyable summer, it’s not having enough shortcake. The shocking truth is you’re looking at the extent of my shortcake activities this year. Yes, I know. Strawberry season somehow escaped me. I apparently did not live my summer to its fullest. But regardless of whether you, like me, are making up for lost time or simply looking to squeeze what’s left out of summer, these Blueberry Biscuit Shortcakes are a perfect choice. So let’s start breaking these puppies down.
Now, there are a few schools of thought when it comes to shortcakes and more than a few, um, forceful opinions. Some people like their shortcakes with layers of spongecake, others prefer pound cake, and then there are some who like a biscuit. They are all technically shortcakes. I don’t think one choice is more correct or valid than the others. And I myself don’t pledge allegiance to any one camp.
When I was growing up, my grandmother made her shortcakes with layers of yellow cake and never thought to involve her excellent teas biscuits in the matter. But as I began to enjoy shortcakes in the wider world, I found quite a few people opted for the biscuit route and there is a level of genius in this choice. Biscuit shortcakes are technically individual desserts and, more importantly, they can be built on demand.
Now, I’m not one to poo-poo shortcake leftovers. Cake leftovers in general are total blessings. But shortcake leftovers don’t really stand the test of time. I mean, it makes sense. A fresh shortcake is about textural contrast. The buttery dense cake or biscuit, the airy whipped cream, and the juicy sweet berries. But if you leave all these layers to interact for too long, they kind of melt into each other. A shortcake becomes a mess much faster than other types of cake. I mean, it makes for a delicious mess but it is a mess nonetheless.
But these Blueberry Biscuit Shortcakes don’t have that problem. You can split a biscuit and top it with cream and berries on a whim and scarf it in the same amount of time. The layers don’t have to associate with each other for too long. And you don’t have to find fridge space for half a towering cake. See? These Blueberry Biscuit Shortcakes are downright practical.
Now, that we’ve covered why you should love them, let’s talk about how to make them yours. And let’s start with the biscuits. These biscuits are just like any other buttermilk biscuit except they’re made with blueberry compound butter instead of regular butter. The compound butter is comprised of two sticks of softened butter, a cup of blueberries, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and a tablespoon of sugar. The butter is cut into the flour mixture as one would with any other butter. The finished dough is then rolled out and folded like a letter and given a quarter turn. This is then repeated until the dough returns to its original orientation. This is similar to how you would handle a laminated dough such as puff pastry. And this is how we get those lovely layers.
With the biscuits tackled, it’s time to move on to the stewed blueberries. And like the biscuits, these berries couldn’t be simpler. Basically, it’s as easy as cooking blueberries down with sugar, adding a little cornstarch to thicken, and a squeeze of lemon to finish. Honestly, the hardest part about making these berries is waiting for them to cool enough to grace a shortcake. The hot berries would destroy the delicate texture of freshly whipped cream. And speaking of freshly whipped cream, it’s time to whip some up. See what I did there?
Now, as you can probably guess, I went with unsweetened whipped cream. I just can’t help it. I love straight-up cream, especially when it’s pair with sweet berries. Again, it’s all about contrast. Plus, what could be easier than pouring a cup of cream into a bowl and whipping it to high heaven? Well, the term “easy” applies to those of us who have a hand or stand mixer. If you’re whipping by hand, good on you! I wish you the super-strong forearms you so richly deserve.
From here, you simply assemble all the components into a deliciously messy dessert and apply to face. And that’s everything you need to know about these Blueberry Biscuit Shortcakes. A perfect sweet sendoff to berry season if there ever was one.
Blueberry Biscuit Shortcakes with Blueberry Butter
- stand or hand mixer or powerful forearms
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2½ tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ cup blueberry butter (see above) cold, cut into cubes
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs divided
- 1 tbsp water
- demerara sugar for sprinkling
- 1½ pints blueberries washed
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup + 1 tbsp water divided
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar optional
For the Blueberry Butter
- Place the butter, blueberries, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the ingredients into the butter until well integrated.1 tbsp granulated sugar, 1 cup blueberries
- Transfer the butter to a piece of parchment paper and roll it into a log. Pinching and twisting the ends to form a seal. Place the butter in the fridge and chill until solid.
For the Biscuits
- Pour the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the blueberry butter and using your thumb and index fingers, rub the butter until the flour mixture. Make sure to be quick with your movements, so you don't melt the butter.3 cups all-purpose flour, 2½ tsp baking powder, ¼ cup granulated sugar, 1½ tsp kosher salt, ½ tsp baking soda
- Crack one egg into the buttermilk and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture into the flour mixture and stir until a shaggy dough forms. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and lightly knead it into a ball. Again, be quick and light with your movements.½ cup blueberry butter (see above), ¾ cup buttermilk
- Roll the dough out to a rough rectangle about 1/2 an inch thick. Fold the dough like a letter and give it a quarter turn. Repeat until the dough returns to its original orientation.
- Trim the edges of the dough and cut it into 8 squares. Transfer the biscuits to a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Gather up the dough scraps and roll them out. Cut out two more squares and add them to the baking sheet. Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer and chill for 1 hour.
- While the biscuits are chilling, preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Once the biscuits are sufficiently chilled, crack the remaining egg into a bowl and add the water. Whisk to combine. Brush the biscuits with the egg wash and sprinkle with the demerara sugar. Transfer the biscuits to the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden, rotating the pan once halfway through.¾ cup buttermilk, 2 large eggs, 1 tbsp water
- Transfer the finished biscuits to a cooling rack and let cool completely before serving.
For the Stewed Blueberries
- Pour the berries, sugar, a 1/4 cup of the water, and salt in a small saucepan. Place the pan over medium-low heat and cook until the berries begin to break down. About 5-7 minutes.⅓ cup granulated sugar, 1½ pints blueberries, ¼ cup + 1 tbsp water
- In a small bowl whisk to combine the cornstarch and the remaining water. Bring the berries up to a spirited simmer and stir in the cornstarch mixture. Continue to stir until the berries thicken slightly and become glossy. Take the berries off of the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Set the berries aside to cool.1½ pints blueberries, ¼ tsp kosher salt, 2 tbsp lemon juice
- Pour the cream and the sugar, if using, into a large mixing bowl. Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or a hand mixer, whip the cream on high until soft peaks form.1 cup heavy cream
- Split a biscuit and top with a dollop of cream, followed by a heaping spoonful of stewed berries. Serve immediately.