When I was little, I had a "Strawberry Shortcake" doll; she wore a red dress with strawberries and a pink hat, and she had red hair and freckles. And she was wonderfully scented (in my young opinion) of strawberries and cream and cake. I don't think I ever gave her any other name, she was just Strawberry Shortcake to me; she is probably still in a box somewhere in my parents' basement, but I'd be surprised if I still thought she smelled good. :)
Shortcakes are a wonderful summer dessert, since they take full advantage of all the fresh fruit that's in season. Typically they're made with a biscuit, split and filled with fruit compote and whipped cream. Strawberry shortcake, maybe because of one of my favorite toys, is still one of my favorite combinations but peach shortcake is fantastic, too. At Jamie's parents' house, I made dessert one evening and made peach shortcake. Instead of baking the biscuits separately, I decided to bake them on top of the peaches, but I wasn't entirely happy with how it turned out. They didn't fully bake where the dough touched the fruit, and didn't get quite as light and puffy as they usually do. So I don't think I would make it that way again; baking the biscuits separately seems to be the best way to go.
Last week, I posted a recipe for Cherry Rhubarb Bread; the cherry rhubarb compote I made for the bread was so fragrant and sweet that I thought it would be wonderful in a shortcake. Which it was!
For the biscuit recipe, try my Baking Powder Biscuits. I've tried other sweeter versions made with butter and sugar, but, and I'm not at all biased, I still like mine best. :)
For the cherry rhubarb compote, click here, or just cook a few cups of your favorite fresh fruit with a little sugar and spices to create your own. And to assemble the shortcakes, well, that's not rocket science; split the biscuits, fill with fruit and freshly whipped cream, top with the other biscuit half and dig in!
I wish I had some more of this right now...