Clamtastic!

Combine a warm Chicago evening, two popular Food Network hosts, and a few good friends, and what do you get? An East Coast–style chow fest to remember

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Maple-Soaked Strawberry Shortcake with Blueberry Sorbet and Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream

Shortcake
/ serves 6

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for the work surface
  • ½ cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¾ cup plus 3 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 2 pounds strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 1 cup maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the flour, 1/2 cup of the sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add 3/4 cup of the heavy cream and mix just until a dough forms. Put the dough onto a floured surface and pat it into a disk that’s roughly 1 inch high. Using a star-shaped biscuit cutter, punch out as many as possible. Re-form the dough and repeat, placing the stars on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush the pieces with the remaining 3 tbsp. of cream and sprinkle them with the remaining 2 tbsp. of sugar.

Bake the shortcakes in the top half of the oven for 25 minutes, until they are golden and firm to the touch. Remove the shortcakes to a baking rack to cool.

While the shortcakes are baking, put the berries and maple syrup in a bowl. Let macerate until ready to assemble the desserts.

Slice each shortcake in half and place the bottom halves on a platter or on individual dessert plates. Divide the berries among them. Cover with the shortcake tops and serve with blueberry sorbet and whipped cream.

 

Sorbet
/ makes 1 quart

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 6 cups fresh blueberries
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Combine the water, sugar, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the syrup and blueberries into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Pour into an ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s directions or, alternatively, pour into a shallow pan and place in the freezer for one hour. Remove the pan from the freezer and scrape down the sides and mix well with a spoon. Return to the freezer. Repeat this process several times to break up the ice crystals. At this point you can transfer the sorbet to a sealable container. It will be a rough sorbet, like a granita. Run it through a food processor for a smoother texture.

 

Whipped cream
/ makes 1 quart

  • 1 pint heavy cream, well chilled
  • 2 tbsp. powdered sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

Pour the cream into a chilled stainless steel bowl and add the vanilla bean seeds. Beat cream until it starts to thicken and add the sugar. Continue to beat until peaks form.

 

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Photograph: Tyllie Barbosa
Styling: Barri Leiner

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