Drunken Peach Shortcake
Mill Street Bar & Table - Greenwich, CT
To offset the sweetness of these peach shortcakes, pastry chef Caryn Stabinsky adds a sauce made with refreshingly bitter wheat beer.
Wheat Beer Sauce:
2 cups wheat beer, such as Allagash White
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cold water
2 teaspoons powdered gelatin
One 750-milliliter bottle Pinot Noir
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1 cup sugar
5 peaches, pitted and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest of 1/2 lemon
3 tablespoons cold butter
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons melted butter
3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon sugar
Vanilla ice cream for serving
To make the wheat beer gel, heat the beer in a small pot over medium heat. Whisk in the sugar until dissolved. While the beer is heating, place the water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it; let stand for 5 minutes. Add the gelatin and water to the warm beer and whisk until dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes. Pour the liquid into a container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. (The mixture will set.) Transfer the gel to a blender and purée until smooth. Reserve for plating. (Can be made a day ahead.)
To make the peaches, combine the Pinot Noir, Champagne vinegar, sugar, and salt in a large pot. Bring to a boil, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Add the peaches. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then immediately remove from the heat so that the peaches don’t become too soft. Transfer 1/2 cup of the peaches to a blender. Purée until smooth. Reserve along with the leftover peach slices.
To make the shortcakes, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment; mix until well combined. Add the butter and continue mixing until the butter has broken down into pea-sized pieces. Beat together the egg yolk and the cream. Add to the stand-mixer bowl and mix on low speed just until the dough comes together. Dump the dough onto a cutting board dusted with flour. Using a flour-dusted rolling pin, roll out the dough to a 1/2-inch-thick sheet. Use a 3-inch cookie or biscuit cutter to cut out individual shortcakes. Place the shortcakes on a baking tray; brush with melted butter and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for approximately 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
To make the whipped cream, combine the cream, sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Use a hand mixer to whip to soft peaks.
To serve, gently reheat the peach slices, peach purée, and wheat beer sauce. Slice the shortcakes in half. Top the bottom halves with poached peach slices and drizzle with peach purée and beer sauce. Add a dollop of whipped cream. Top with the other shortcake halves. Finish with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream.