Shortcakes with New England Fruit Compote and Mascarpone Cream
For the New England Fruit Compote:
- 1 cup concord grapes, stemmed
- 1 cup blueberries
- 9 ounces figs (about 15, from one pint), trimmed and halved
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup sugar
- Pinch kosher salt
For the shortcakes:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus additional for work surface
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, plus additional for sprinkling dough
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes and well-chilled
- ⅔ cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream, plus additional for brushing dough
- ⅓ cup mascarpone
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided
For the Mascarpone-Vanilla Cream:
- 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
- ⅓ cup mascarpone
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- 2 to 4 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar, or to taste, plus additional for dusting
Make the compote: Combine grapes, blueberries, figs, lemon juice, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Bring to boil over high and adjust heat to maintain a brisk simmer. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until grapes and/or blueberries have burst and mixture is syrupy and reduced, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Make the shortcakes: Preheat oven to 400°F. Lined a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk to combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add butter cubes and toss to coat. Moving quickly so as not to keep the butter as cold as possible, work the butter into the dry ingredients by rubbing the mixture in between your fingers and thumbs. Continue working in this manner until the texture resembles coarse sand, with some larger bits the size of small pebbles still remaining.
Combine heavy cream, mascarpone, and vanilla in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle over dry ingredients and gently fold with a rubber spatula to incorporate, being sure to scrape the sides of bowl. Knead in the bowl just a few times until a rough dough forms and no dusty bits remain. Do not overwork dough.
Transfer dough to a work surface and pat into a narrow rectangle about 1-inch thick. If necessary, use a small amount of flour to prevent sticking. With the short side facing you, fold the top third of the dough on top of itself, towards the center. Fold the bottom third of the dough up and over the top third. With a rolling pin or your hands, pat into another narrow rectangle and turn dough a quarter turn clockwise, so the flap opening faces right, like a book. Repeat folding process one more time.
Pat dough into a 7-inch by 5-inch rectangle, about 1-inch thick. Using a floured knife, cut dough into six equal rectangles.
Place rectangles on prepared baking pan. Chill until firm, in the freezer for about 15 minutes or in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Shortcakes can be made up until this point and kept chilled, covered, up to 2 days in advance in the refrigerator, or a month in advance in the freezer. Increase baking time by about 8 minutes if baking from frozen.
Lightly brush tops of dough with additional heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar. Transfer baking pan to oven and bake, rotating once, until shortcakes are golden on the tops and just cooked through, about 20-25 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the Mascarpone-Vanilla Cream. In a medium bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine heavy cream and mascarpone. Whip until soft peaks form. Add vanilla and confectioners sugar to desired level of sweetness.
When shortcakes have cooled, split in half by gently pulling apart. Construct a serving by placing bottom half of shortcake onto a plate, topping with whipped mascarpone-vanilla cream, and a spoonful of fruit compote. Top with remaining half of shortcake, dust with additional powdered sugar, and serve.