Blood Orange + Berry Shortcakes (or Bloody Sunday Valentines)

I hope everyone had a GREAT weekend! Shaun and I were super duper busy, but had a fantastic weekend. Yesterday, we spent the day dining on brunch (stay tuned for that update tomorrow), seeing The King's Speech (has anyone else seen it?) and eating a candlelit dinner at home topped off with watching the Grammy's in our pj's. Good times.

In addition to cooking dinner together last night (one of our favorite activities), I wanted to make a fun dessert. Since Shaun isn't exactly a dessert fiend, I wanted to come up with something that was not cakey, filled with frosting or overly sweet.

I know, at that point it's like why even bother?

But trust me on this one. Though it's not buttercreamy or Devil's foody (my favorite dessert combination), this dessert is bursting with flavor and just the right amount of sweetness with a bit of dryness from the biscuit. Oh and the homemade whipped cream is just the icing on, cake, if you will. But seriously, the homemade whipped cream is where it's at. Shaun had to practically pry the bowl from my hands. And clearly a normal, human-sized spoon wasn't enough for me. Nope, I went all-out rubber spatula.

Oh and the blood orange thing? It was a last minute add-in when I spotted one at the grocery store on Sunday morning. Though I'm all to familiar with them from my Dexter obsession, I've never actually tried one before. And it spawned 2 names of this dish. You can probably guess which was mine and which was Shaun's.

But I have to tell you that this addition really made the dish. Not only are they absolutely gorgeous, but they added a not-too-tart, citrusy burst of flavor to the strawberries and blueberries. Ready to see how it all went down?

Blood Orange + Berry Shortcakes
Sunday Bloody Valentine's
*Adapted from Epicurious & Real Simple
3/4 C sugar
1 lemon peel, grated
2 C flour
2 1/3 C heavy cream, divided
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg (or omit if you're opposed to this flavor)
2 C strawberries, hulled & quartered
1 C blueberries
1 blood orange, peeled and sliced into wedges
1/4 C confectioners sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

For the biscuits:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together the sugar and lemon zest. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the flour, 1/3 cup of lemon sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Add 1 1/3 cup of heavy cream and mix until the dough comes together. Drop into 6 mounds onto an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle with lemon sugar and bake for 20-23 minutes. Let cool.

For the fruit filling:
Wash and cut the fruit. Toss together in a mixing bowl. Add in the rest of the sugar, mix until all is coated and let sit for 15 minutes (this is macerating!), stirring every so often.

For the whipped cream:
In a stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), mix 1 cup of the heavy cream, confectioners sugar and vanilla on medium high until peaks begin to form. Sample it, just to make sure it's delish :)

Put it together:

Cut the biscuits in half. Spoon on some of the fruit, followed by a dollop of whipped cream. Top with other half of biscuit.

It seems like a lot of steps, but I swear, this was one of the easiest desserts I've ever made. So what do you think? Are you a fan of fruit in your dessert? Or is it just not a dessert if it doesn't include frosting? And bonus question: have you ever worked with blood oranges?