It’s great to try new recipes using your favorite seasonal produce. Local fruits and veggies at their peak are almost guaranteed to make any dish you put them in taste fantastic, making your odds for recipe success higher than usual. New recipes also give you more ways to consume the foods you love! So when the big sign in front of my local farm stand read “Massachusetts blueberries are here” I made a quick pit stop to pick up a couple of pints and quickly decided I would create something with blueberries, lemons, and cornmeal. Blueberries and lemon is a classic and well-known flavor combination, but in an article I read recently on flavor profiles that pair well together in recipes, I learned that blueberries and cornmeal go well together too, so I set about creating a summer dessert using these three ingredients and the result – Lemon Blueberry Cornmeal Shortcake – was even better than I expected!
Rather than baking individual shortcakes, this recipe calls for you to make an 8”x 8” square cornmeal cake that is then cut into individual pieces, or shortcakes. The stone ground cornmeal in this recipe gives the shortcakes an earthy quality and a wonderful whole grain texture that is very unique, but it’s the taste that makes these shortcakes killer. They are bursting with bright, lemony flavor. One thing to note though, is that they are prone to crumbling easily so be gentle with them. There is no gluten is this recipe and gluten is what gives baked goods structure and helps them stay together.
Whipped cream is a must on any kind of shortcake. You can use heavy cream or whipping cream in this recipe. The only difference between the two is the percentage of milk fat. Heavy cream has slightly more milk fat so it will whip up a little thicker and hold its shape better and longer than whipping cream. Whipping cream will yield a lighter, fluffier cream, but will not hold its shape for quite as long. You can use canned whipped cream as a shortcut in this recipe – just buy one that is all natural. One brand I like is Cabot sweetened light whipped cream.
I’ve taken a liberty with this recipe by calling a cornmeal based cake (cut into pieces) “shortcake”. Shortcakes are traditionally made with biscuit dough, comprised of flour, butter, sugar, and cream (or milk). The shortcakes in this recipe are made with cornmeal and almond meal instead of flour, avocado oil instead of butter, coconut sugar in place of regular granulated sugar, and Greek yogurt in place of milk/cream. Don’t worry, these cornmeal shortcakes are just as delicious as the traditional shortcakes you’re probably used to, but I’d like to think that they are a tad healthier. Topped with fresh blueberries in a light coating of maple syrup and lemon juice with dollops of fresh whipped cream on top, Lemon Blueberry Cornmeal Shortcake is the perfect summer dessert!
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 2 generous pints of fresh blueberries
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup stone ground cornmeal, medium grind
- ½ cup finely ground almond meal
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup avocado oil
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 pint heavy or whipping cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray and 8 x 8-inch baking pan with olive oil cooking spray.
- Combine the blueberries with ¼ cup maple syrup and ¼ cup lemon juice and set aside.
- Vigorously whisk together the cornmeal, almond meal, baking powder, salt, and coconut sugar to combine and break up any lumps. Add the avocado oil, yogurt, eggs, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, vanilla and lemon zest. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat on medium speed until the mixture is well combined, about 30 seconds.
- Pour the batter into the pan and bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool completely then cut into 9 equal pieces and slice each piece through the middle to create shortcakes.
- In a large chilled metal bowl whip the heavy/whipping cream and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup to soft peaks in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. (You can substitute canned whipped cream as a shortcut.)
- Spoon about ½ cup (3 oz.) of the blueberry mixture on the shortcake bottoms and dollop on some of the fresh whipped cream. Cover with the other shortcake halves and more whipped cream. Garnish the tops with a few more blueberries, fresh mint, and a slice of lemon if desired.
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