Almond Berry Cakes


3 cups fresh blueberries

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon water

2 tablespoons amaretto

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup ground toasted almonds

1/2 cup butter

1 egg

1 cup half-and-half

1/8 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar

1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds


Combine blueberries, 3/4 cup sugar, and lemon juice; cook 5 minutes. Transfer berries to a bowl using a slotted spoon. Combine cornstarch and water; add to blueberry liquid, and bring to a boil. Boil 1 minute; stir in blueberries and amaretto. Chill.

Combine 1/4 cup sugar, flour, and next 3 ingredients. Cut in butter with a pastry blender. Combine egg, half-and-half, and extract; reserve 1 tablespoon.

Add remaining half-and-half mixture to flour mixture, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. Turn out onto floured surface; knead 6 times. Roll to 1/2-inch thickness.

Cut 8 shortcakes with a 4 1/4-inch heart-shaped cutter; place on a greased baking sheet. Brush with half-and-half mixture; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake at 425° for 14 minutes. Let cool.

Beat whipping cream until foamy; add powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Slice each cake in half horizontally. Spoon blueberry sauce over bottom halves; spoon half of whipping cream over berries.

Place top half on each. Top with remaining whipped cream; sprinkle with almonds.

Yield: 8 servings

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