STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE

Serving: 8

By Chef John Besh

This is the dish I created for The Next Iron Chef at the ambassador’s residence in Paris. It might look complicated, but when you take each component separately, it’s as easy as making biscuits, marinating the berries, and freezing a sorbet.

For the Sauce
1 cup Creole cream cheese or fromage blanc
1⁄3 cup heavy cream
Seeds from half a vanilla bean
3 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 pinch salt
Grated zest of 1 lemon
6 tablespoons cold butter, diced
3⁄4 cup whole milk 

For the Berries
2 pints strawberries, hulled and diced
1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
Leaves from 1 sprig fresh mint, minced
2 cups sorbet
Powdered sugar

For the sauce, put the Creole cream cheese, heavy cream, vanilla bean seeds, and granulated sugar into a medium mixing bowl and whisk together until well combined. Cover and refrigerate.

For the biscuits, preheat the oven to 400°. Combine 2 cups of the flour, the sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest in a medium mixing bowl. Using a fork or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour until the texture resembles cornmeal.

Gradually stir in just enough milk for the dough to form a ball. Be careful not to overwork the dough, or the biscuits will be tough.

Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 3⁄4-inch thickness and cut out 8 disks with a 21⁄2-inch round biscuit or cookie cutter.

Place the biscuits on a baking sheet at least 1 inch apart and bake until golden brown, 12–15 minutes. Set aside to let cool.

For the berries, toss the berries, granulated sugar, Grand Marnier, and mint together in a medium bowl. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 6 hours.

To assemble each shortcake, spoon 1–2 table- spoons of the sauce in the center of a dessert plate. Cut a biscuit in half crosswise and set the bottom half on the sauce, cut side up. Spoon some berries over the biscuit and scoop some sorbet on top. Dust the top half of the biscuit with powdered sugar and lean it jauntily on top of the berries.