Strawberry Rhubarb Ginger Compote with Polenta Shortcakes
for the shortcakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup polenta
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
6 tablespoons very cold butter, cut into cubes
2 hard-boiled egg yolks
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup heavy cream, plus additional for brushing the tops
for the compote
1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced into quarters (halves, if small)
2 stalks rhubarb, sliced into 1″ pieces (use one for flavor emphasis on the strawberries)
3 heaping tablespoons minced crystallized ginger (or 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced)
6 tablespoons granulated sugar (I used 3 each of Truvia and regular sugar)
juice from one fresh lime
grated lime peel from one lime
for the shortcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 375°F
2. In a food processor bowl, pulse together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt and orange zest. Add the cold cubed butter and the egg yolks and pulse just until the mixture has the texture of lightly moistened cornmeal. There may be a few pea-sized chunks of butter remaining; that’s fine.
3. Pour in the buttermilk and the heavy cream and pulse several times to create a moist dough. Do not overmix or the dough will be tough (i.e., not to the point where the dough rides the blade).
4. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and gather into a mass. Knead 3 to 4 times to make it cohesive and then pat into a circle about 6 to 7 inches in diameter and an even 1 inch in thickness.
5. Use a round cookie cutter to cut 4 to 6 circles from the dough (quantity will depend on the size of your ring. I used a three inch ring to create 5 circles). Brush the tops very lightly with heavy cream.
6. Transfer to a cookie sheet and bake until risen and golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Turn the pan around halfway through to ensure even cooking. Remove to a cooling rack.
for the compote:
1. Place strawberries and rhubarb in a medium pot. Mix in sugar, ginger, lime juice, and peel. Cook over high heat until sugar dissolves, stirring often. Boil 4 minutes, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium; simmer just until rhubarb begins to soften and fall apart, about 3 minutes.
2. Remove from heat and chill until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
1. Slice the shortcakes in half and place the bottoms on separate plates. Spoon the compote over each shortcake half. Top with your choice of whipped cream or vanilla frozen yogurt (my preference), and set the tops in place.