Chefs Robert Del Grande
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Old-Fashioned Shortcake with Absolut Kurrant and Berry Sauce and Sweet Mascarpone Cream

Adapted from Robert Del Grande

6 shortcakes


2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 Tablespoon grated orange zest
6 Tablespoons cold butter
1 each egg
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract


Fresh mint

Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and orange zest in a large bowl. Whisk thoroughly to remove any lumps and combine ingredients.

Cut the butter into the flour mixture, using fingertips, until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.

Combine the egg, cream, buttermilk and vanilla. Add to the bowl and toss lightly with fingertips until a dough begins to form. Remove to a lightly floured work surface and knead just until the dough is smooth - don’t overwork. Roll out to 3/4" thickness and cut with a #7 biscuit cutter.

Place on parchment-lined sheet pan. Wrap with plastic and freeze until needed.

To bake, place on parchment-lined sheet pans. Brush the tops lightly with cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 350°F for 18-20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

Absolut Kurrant Berry Sauce

1 pint

1 pint strawberries, quartered
1 pint blueberries
1 pint raspberries
1 pint blackberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoons Absolut Kurrant vodka

Place the berries in a non-reactive pot. Sprinkle the sugar over the top. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries burst and release their juices. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Purée completely in the blender. Strain through a fine sieve.

Dissolve the lemon juice in 1/4 cup of the berry purée and add to the remaining berry purée, add the Absolut Kurrant. Cool and store in refrigerator.

Sweet Mascarpone Cream

Yield: 1 cup

1/2 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup Mascarpone cheese

Place the mascarpone and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in a small bowl. Use a rubber spatula to combine thoroughly and loosen up the cheese.

In a separate bowl, whip the cream, the other tablespoon of sugar and vanilla to firm peaks. Fold 1/4 of whipped cream into the mascarpone to lighten it up. Add the remaining whipped cream and fold in thoroughly. Whisk until the mixture holds its shape.

To serve, slice shortcakes in half, while still warm, place bottom half in a bowl. Place a generous dollop of mascarpone cream on the shortcake; add sliced fresh strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries. Top with a couple tablespoons of Absolut Kurrant Berry Sauce. Carefully place top half of shortcake on the berries. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Garnish with fresh mint.

Wine Suggestion

Late harvest Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc