When it comes to baking, let it be known for the record that I’m a “from scratch” kinda girl. However…
After our recent trip home, Mom included a “mix” in her farewell basket of goodies. I was skeptical at first.
Shortcake from a mix? With a mere two ingredients added? Hmmm….
Clearly, this had to be pondered for awhile. (Speaking of which, check out this post for a fun time spent musing.)
Meanwhile back at the ranch…
The “mix” begged to be reckoned with every time I opened the pantry door. I finally succumbed.
Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce… Sturdiwheat All Natural Dessert Mix. Simply add butter and water. (Or in my case — unsalted butter, a pinch of Kosher salt, and a sprinkling of Turbinado sugar before baking.)
Just for “fun” (and because they were on sale), I used fresh cherries (instead of the usual strawberries) and made a Cherry-Cabermet Reduction (because I can’t leave well enough alone.)
The end result even inspired the Man of Few Words to utter a whole sentence: “This stuff is really light.”
Music to my ears.
Fresh Cherry Shortcake with A Cherry-Cabernet Reduction
For the shortcake:
1 (11 oz.) pkg. Sturdiwheat All Natural Shortcake Dessert Mix
1 stick of unsalted butter
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 c. water
2 T. Turbinado sugar (aka “Sugar In The Raw”)
For the filling:
1/2 lb. fresh cherries, halved and pitted
1 pt. heavy cream, whipped with 2 T. sugar and 1 t. vanilla
For the Cherry-Cabernet Reduction:
12 ripe, pitted cherries
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. to 1/2 c. sugar (I used a 1/2 cup)
1/2 c. Cabernet Sauvignon or other good red wine
Preheat oven to 375°. Begin by preparing shortcake as directed on the package. (I substituted unsalted butter and Kosher salt for the salted butter.) Spoon batter onto a greased baking sheet to form 9 “mounds” and sprinkle tops with Turbinado sugar. Bake at 375° F. for 15 minutes, or until golden. Remove shortcakes to a cooling rack.
Meanwhile, prepare Cherry-Cabernet Reduction. Place a dozen pitted cherries in a small saucepan and mash with a fork. Add water and sugar; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mash cherries again halfway through cooking time. Remove from heat.
Pour cherry pulp and juice into a fine mesh strainer over a heatproof measuring cup; press cooked cherries with a fork to extract juice. (Discard the pulp … or eat it with a spoon … or spread it on hot, buttered toast… just sayin’.)
Return strained cherry juice to the same saucepan. Add Cabernet; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until sauce is reduced by half. (It should be thick and syrupy.) Remove from heat. While sauce is cooling, prepare the whipped cream.
To assemble the dessert, drizzle warm Cherry-Cabernet Reduction onto dessert plates. Split the shortcakes in half (horizontally) and fill with a generous dollop of whipped cream and as many cherries as you like. Nestle the shortcake “top” over that. Garnish with a small dollop of whipped cream and a whole cherry. Enjoy!
When life hands you cherries, make shortcake.
P.S. Even though I’m proud to be an Okie, this shortcake mix (and many other fine products) are made in my home state of Minnesota.