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Red White and Blue Shortcakes

Red White and Blue Shortcakes
Adapted from The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book
Makes 6 servings

1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon lemon zest, from 1 lemon
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
¾ cup buttermilk
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream, for brushing
16 ounces strawberries, hulled and cut into slices
6 ounces blueberries
1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice

Sweetened Whipped Cream:
2 cups (1 pint) heavy whipping cream
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 400F. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt until well blended. Using a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal and the butter pieces are no larger than peas. Add the buttermilk and vanilla, and gently toss with a fork or spatula until the flour is just moistened and the ingredients are blended. The dough will appear shaggy.
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently press the dough into a thick rectangle about 6 by 4 inches. Trim the edges even with a sharp knife, and then cut the dough into 6 equal 2-inch squares. Place the squares onto an ungreased baking sheet, spacing them well apart. Brush the top of each square with heavy cream and sprinkle with coarse sanding sugar or granulated sugar. Bake until puffed and golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.
3. While shortcakes are baking, toss strawberries, blueberries, lemon juice, and ¼ cup of sugar with a fork, lightly crushing some of the berries. Cover and refrigerate until the berries are chilled.
4. While berries are chilling, make whipped cream. In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, whip cream on medium speed until thickened, about 3 minutes. Increase speed to high and gradually add confectioners’ sugar while whipping. Add the vanilla extract and continue to whip until soft peaks form.
5. To serve, split the shortcakes in half horizontally and place the bottom halves, cut side up, on a serving plate. Spoon some of the berry mixture, including the juices, over each half and top with a dollop of whipped cream. Top with the remaining shortcake halves, cut side down. Serve immediately.

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