Salmonberries grow in the summer in Southeast Alaska. They start as a pretty little pink flower in the Spring.
The flower petals fall off and the center becomes a hard little green berry clump.
The ripe salmonberry is red or orange.
They are juicy, tasty little gems and they are abundant. In fact, they are actually weeds. People go to great lengths to keep these from growing in their yards and gardens. If you let them in, they take over and are impossible to completely eradicate.
I enjoy picking the berries and eating them when I'm out and about, however, I have never collected them. I am not sure why I don't collect them. I began wondering why salmonberries are tasty treats to enjoy when out wandering around, but not good enough to collect for use throughout the year? I decided to collect some and use them in my cooking. I learned that there are very few recipes that use salmonberries. I think that because salmonberries are a detestable weed, they aren't used to their potential. They are very juicy and generally sweet tasting. I found some recipes where berries seem interchangeable, so although I use salmonberries in this recipe, you can use any berry you choose. I think it would be a great recipe for raspberries too.
This shortcake recipe starts in the kitchen aid for the dry ingredients and the shortening. You can use a pastry cutter and do it the old fashioned way but your kitchen aid works just as well.
Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
Pour the wet ingredients into the mixer with the dry ingredients. When mixed they will be firm. Divide the dough in half and form two equal sized balls.
Using your hands, use the first ball to make a circle that will fit into a prepared 8" cake pan. I do this on a piece of waxed paper so I can easily transfer it to the cake pan.
Place it in the pan and cover the top with softened butter.
With the second ball of dough, make a circle just like the first and put it on top of the buttered dough in the cake pan.
While your cake is baking, make the berry mixture.
While the cake is cooling, make the whipped cream mixture.
When the cake is cool, pour the berry mixture over the top.
Serve with the whipped cream mixture.
Alaska Wild Berry Guide and Cookbook. The whipped cream recipe comes from Norwegian National Recipes.
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
1 Tbs sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 well beaten egg
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbs softened butter
4 cups salmonberries (divided)
1 cup sugar (divided)
juice from half a lime
1-1/4 cup of whipping cream
Gently mix 1/4 cup sugar into 1 cup of berries, set aside.
Preheat oven to 350F. Mix flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Cut in the shortening. In a separate bowl, mix the milk into the well beaten egg. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix until just moist. Divide into two equal pieces and form into two equal sized balls. Pat each ball into a round circle that will fit an 8" cake pan. Place the first round into the cake pan and spread the top with 2 Tbs of softened butter. Place the second round on top of the first. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the shortcake is slightly browned around the edges and a knife inserted comes out clean. Let the cake cool on a rack while you mix the berries.
Mix together 3 cups of berries, 3/4 cups of sugar and the juice from 1/2 of a lime. Let stand for 15 minutes.
Whip the cream in an electric mixer. Slowly add the set aside mixture of salmonberries and sugar.
When the cake is cool, turn it out onto a plate. Top with the berry mixture. Serve in wedges with the whipped cream topping.
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