More often than not I look forward to shortcakes with strawberries and cream in early summer. However, its not hard to get creative with other fruit during the cold winter months.  These winter shortcakes get a hit of flavour from warming spices like  ground cinnamon and cardamom.  Although these shortcakes can be enjoyed  warm out of the oven with a slathering of butter, they make for an enticing winter dessert with the addition of figs and honeyed yogurt.

For the shortcakes

Makes 6

2 cups flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cardamom

2 tsp orange zest

½ cup cold butter

3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp 35% cream

1 tsp vanilla

3 tbsp turbinado sugar

2 fresh black mission figs, sliced lengthwise

Preheat oven to 400F

  1. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom and orange zest into a bowl and mix.

  2. Cut the butter into cubes and add it to the flour mixture. Use your fingers to pinch the butter into the flour until it has been broken into smaller pieces, a bit larger than peas.

  3. Combine ¾ cup of cream with the vanilla and slowly stir it into the flour mixture.  Use your hands to mix the dough gently until you have a shaggy dough that holds together when you squeeze some together in the palm of your hand.

  4. Lightly flour your work surface and dump the dough on to the flour. Work quickly to bring the dough together, kneading it 3 or 4 times.

  5. Shape the dough into a rectangle then use a rolling pin to roll the dough into an 8” x 5” rectangle.

  6. Cut the dough in half lengthwise and then into thirds to form six squares.

  7. Brush each shortcake with the remaining 2tbsp of cream and top each shortcake with a slice or two of fresh fig. Sprinkle each shortcake liberally with turbinado sugar.

  8. Place the shortcakes on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20-22 minutes. Shortcakes will be golden brown.

  9. Set on a rack to cool.

Fresh fig and orange

2 navel oranges peeled and supremed*

4 figs cut into 6 wedges

1 tbsp honey

1 tbsp orange juice

*To supreme an orange: Cut a slice off the top and bottom of the orange and lay it flat on one of the cut sides. Starting at the top of the orange and working your way toward the board, use your knife to peel the orange.  Be sure to remove all the white pith. Holding the peeled orange in your hand, carefully cut the orange into segments by using your knife to cut in between each segment.

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and let it sit for 15min.

Sweetened Balkan yogurt

1 cup full fat Balkan yogurt

1 tbsp honey

1 tbsp orange juice

  1. Mix all the ingredients together.

To assemble

  1. Slice the shortcake in half using a serrated knife and place on a plate.

  2. Spread a little sweetened yogurt on top of the bottom half of the shortcake and top with some of the fresh fig and orange mixture.  Dollop with more yogurt then top with the top half of the scone.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.

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