Berry shortcakes

Berry shortcakes Credit: Marge Perry

TIP Do not wash berries until just before using, and be sure to dry them well.

MIXED BERRY SHORTCAKES

I often make fewer biscuits and serve them "open face."

2 1/4 cups biscuit mix such as Bisquick

2/3 cup 1 percent milk

4 quarts (any combination) strawberries, blackberries and raspberries, trimmed and cut as needed

1/3 cup sugar (depending on sweetness of berries)

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

7 ounces crème fraîche

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine mix and milk in a bowl, stirring only until a soft dough forms. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead 10 times. Roll to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 9 biscuits with a 21/2-inch biscuit cutter. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown. Let cool.

2. Toss the berries with the sugar and let stand at room temperature.

3. Using an electric mixer, whip the cream to soft peaks; add the sugar a little at a time, whipping between additions. Add the crème fraîche a little at a time, again whipping between additions.

4. Split the cooled biscuits horizontally; place the bottoms on individual plates. Top with berries and whipped topping, place top of biscuit on top just before serving. Makes 9 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 422 calories, 5 g protein, 55 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 21 g fat, 11 g saturated fat, 399 mg sodium

BLACKBERRY CINNAMON COBBLER

4 cups blackberries

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/3 cup plus 1 cup sugar, divided

1 large egg

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch ground nutmeg

6 tablespoons butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat six 8-ounce ramekins with cooking spray.

2. Toss berries with lemon juice and 1/3 cup sugar (or more, if they are very tart). In another bowl, lightly beat the egg, stir in the remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg until the mixture looks like coarse meal.

3. Divide the berries among the ramekins; top with the flour mixture but do not press the topping down. Pour the melted butter over the topping; place the ramekins on a baking sheet lined with foil (to make clean up easy). Bake until the berries bubble and the topping is golden brown, about 35 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 405 calories, 5 g protein, 70 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 13 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 15 mg sodium

CHOCOLATE DIPPED STRAWBERRIES

Do not use semisweet bits for this recipe: They will not yield the same smooth, glossy result as melted baking chocolate.

4 ounces chocolate, chopped

1 pound large strawberries, washed and patted completely dry

1. Place wax paper or parchment paper on a baking sheet.

2. Microwave the chopped chocolate just until the edges of the pieces soften; remove from the microwave and stir. Microwave again until the chocolate just begins to puddle at the bottom of the bowl. Stir until chocolate is completely smooth.

3. Stick a sturdy toothpick or skewer in the top of a strawberry and dip the bottom two thirds in the chocolate, swirling to cover. Place on the lined baking sheet, remove the toothpick or skewer and repeat to coat all the berries. Let cool at room temperature for about 15 minutes, (depending on the temperature and humidity in your kitchen, this can take anywhere from 8 to 30 minutes) until chocolate hardens. Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 115 calories, 1 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 6 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 3 mg sodium

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