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Ginger Star Shortcakes with Summer Berries



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Ginger Star Shortcakes with Summer Berries
Food & Wine 1997
Food & Wine Books, Editor in Chief: Judith Hill, 1998, American Express Publishing Corp.

Rare and Out of Print Books

16 servings

“For a show-stopping dessert, fill gingerbread shortcakes with rich mascarpone
cream and sweet ripe berries.”

1 1/2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 1/2 pints fresh blueberries
1 1/2 pints fresh blackberries
1 1/2 pints fresh raspberries
1 cup sugar

Mascarpone Cream
3/4 pound mascarpone cheese (1 1/2 cups) or cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped candied ginger (about 1 1/2 ounces)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups chilled heavy cream

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
3/4 cup chilled Molasses Butter (recipe follows), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
2 large egg yolks

About 3/4 cup Molasses Butter (recipe follows), softened, for serving

1. Prepare the berries:  In a large bowl, toss the berries with the sugar and let them macerate at room temperature for at least 1 or up to 4 hours; stir gently from time to time.
2. Prepare the Mascarpone Cream:  In a medium bowl, beat the mascarpone with the ginger, sugar, and vanilla until well blended. Slowly beat in the heavy cream just until the mixture forms soft peaks. Refrigerate 3 hours; whip briefly before serving.
3. Prepare the Shortcakes:  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees [F] and lightly butter two baking sheets. In a large bowl, sift the four with the 1 cup sugar, the ginger, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, allspice, salt and pepper; whisk to combine. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in the Molasses Butter until the mixture resembles small peas.
4.  In a large measuring cup, whisk the buttermilk and egg yolks. Stir 1 cup into the dry ingredients. Using your hands, squeeze the dough until smooth; if necessary, stir in a little more liquid, but don’t let the dough become sticky. Reserve the remaining liquid for glazing.
5.  Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to a 1/2-inch thickness. Using a lightly floured 3-inch star-shaped or round biscuit cutter,
cut out as many shortcakes as you can. Pat the scraps together and continue cutting to make a total of sixteen shortcakes. Arrange the shortcakes on the prepared baking sheets so they don’t touch, then brush the tops lightly with
the remaining buttermilk mixture and sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.
6.  Bake the shortcakes, a tray at a time, for about 15 minutes, or until the bottoms are lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Split with a serrated knife; set each base on a plate and spread with a thin layer of Molasses Butter. Mound berries on each. Add a dollop of mascarpone cream; cover with the top.

Molasses Butter

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup unsulphured molasses

In a medium bowl, beat the butter with the brown sugar until light and creamy. Beat in the molasses.

Make Ahead:  The Molasses Butter can be refrigerated overnight.
~ Joe Abuso

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