Spiced Orange Shortcake

Sometimes I read old recipes and think to myself, that could be better. This recipe is one just like that. In the Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook, there is a recipe for orange shortcake. In that recipe, you make a white cake, a very simple orange sauce and then place chopped oranges on the cake. Great idea, but I thought it needed a little work.

Using my most favorite Cream Biscuit recipe to replace the cake, I set out to be inspired by the vintage recipe but create something that was a little more current — this will happen from time to time on Baking Vintage.

I started with the orange sauce. In the original recipe, the sauce was comprised of orange juice, orange peel and a lot of sugar so I added Grand Marnier, a bit more juice, cinnamon and a little vanilla to spice it up a bit. I also reduced the sauce for a lot longer in order to create a sauce that denser then the original.

I also added whipped cream to the recipe because to me, if a shortcake doesn’t have whipped cream, it better not call itself a shortcake. I made sweetened whipped cream and added just a tablespoon of Grand Marnier to bring out the flavors of the sauce a little bit.

Lastly, I added some beautiful supremed oranges to the shortcakes. I love supreming oranges — honestly, I could probably do it all day long. Basically, you cut the top and bottom off of an orange and then remove the pith by running your knife down the sides; you to make sure not to leave any white pith on the orange. Then, following the natural segments of the orange, use a paring knife and slice out the little sections. Simply delicious.

Spiced Orange Shortcake (inspired by The Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook, edited by Ruth Berolzheimer)

Makes 6 shortcakes

For the shortcakes:

½ recipe Cream Biscuits

For the sauce:

1 ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about six oranges)

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon freshly grated orange peel

1 tablespoon Grand Marnier

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For the whipped cream:

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon Grand Marnier (or more, or less to taste)

For serving:

2 – 3 oranges, supremed

To prepare the biscuits:

Prepare biscuits as per recipe. Allow to cool.

To prepare the sauce:

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve sugar and allow mixture to come to a boil. Turn down heat to medium-low and allow sauce to simmer until reduced by half, 20 to 30 minutes.

Sauce can also be cooled and served over ice cream.

To prepare the whipped cream:

Just before ready to serve the shortcakes, place the heavy cream in a large bowl. Using a large hand whisk or an electric hand mixer, beat the cream till soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar and Grand Marnier to cream and continue beating till firm peaks form.

To assemble shortcakes:

Cut the cooled biscuits in half. Place about ¼ cup whipped cream and a few pieces on supremed orange onto the bottom half of the biscuit. Top with the other half and ladle about two tablespoons of orange sauce over top the shortcake. Serve with additional whipped cream and oranges. Enjoy.

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