The sweetness of summer berries is incredibly delicious stuffed into a simple sour cream biscuit. This easy-to-make biscuit dough comes together in a snap because you just need to stir sour cream and milk into the works instead of laboriously cutting butter into the dough. This is an easier method than traditional recipes.
Use whichever ripe berries catch your eye while browsing your local farmer’s market, u-pick, or your backyard, or use a mix of a few different kinds. Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, even experiment with berries you’ve never heard of before, like haskap berries. Different berries have different levels of sweetness, so use your best judgment and adjust the amount of sugar to suit your taste buds.
Yield: Serves 8 guests with leftovers
For the Shortcake Biscuits
4 cups (1 L) of flour
1/4 cup (60 mL) of sugar
2 tablespoons (30 mL) of baking powder
1 tablespoon (15 mL) of freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon (5 mL) of salt
2 1/2 (625 mL) cups of sour cream
1/2 cup (125 mL) of milk
More milk for brushing
Your favourite coarse or fine sugar for dusting
For the Berry Compote
4 cups (1 L) of your favourite fresh summer berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, Saskatoon berries, haskap berries, etc.)
1 cup (250 mL) of sugar
2 teaspoons (10 mL) of real vanilla extract
The juice and zest of 2 lemons
For the berry compote, simply toss the berries with the sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice. The sugar will draw juice from the berries and thicken the works into a simple tasty sauce.
For the shortcake biscuits, start by preparing and preheating your oven to 425 °F. Turn on your convection fan if you have one. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg together evenly distributing the finer powders amidst the coarser ones. In a separate bowl, whisk the sour cream and milk together, then pour into the dry ingredients. Stir with the handle end of a wooden spoon until combined. (The handle of the spoon is gentler on the dough).
Knead briefly, until the dough comes together. Fold once or twice more slightly strengthening the dough. Pat roughly into 1” thick rectangle and cut into 8 large biscuits or 12 smaller ones. Brush with a bit of milk, lightly moistening each biscuit then sprinkle their tops with lots of your favourite sugar. Bake until light, fluffy, crispy and golden brown, about 13 or 14 minutes.
To assemble, cut the biscuits in half, spoon loads of berries over the bottom half, and top with the rest of the biscuit. Serve with your favourite ice cream or whipped cream.
© Chef Michael Smith
These are my gold-standard biscuits. My secret? Frozen butter! It’s an old pastry chef’s trick that has served me well. Butter tastes great and when it’s frozen it becomes very easy to shred into the dough. After you try these a few times you’ll be able to bake them in under twenty minutes and clean up the mess too!