Shortcake With Fruit and Zabaglione

A great Easter dessert!


For the Shortcake
2 cups all purpose flour
3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3 ½ tablespoons butter
¾ cup half and half
2 tablespoons melted butter

For the Fruits
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
juice squeezed from 2 oranges
2 peaches or nectarines, pitted and cut in half
2 bananas, peeled and cut in half length-wise
4 – 8 figs, cut in half
½ cup raspberries
½ cup blackberries
½ cup blueberries

For the Zabaglione
yolks from 5 large eggs
1 large egg
½ cup sugar
1 cup limoncello
½ cup whipping cream

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the butter.
Add the half and half mixing it in gradually. Place large spoonfuls of mix onto a baking sheet.
Brush with melted butter and sprinkle sugar on top. Bake for 15 minutes until lightly browned.
Allow to cool to room temperature. Good to make this ahead of time or the day before.

Stir the brown sugar into the orange juice until it is dissolved.
Brush the mixture onto the cut peaches, bananas and figs.
Heat a grill (preferably an outdoor wood or gas grill but an indoor Panini grill will do fine).
Grill the fruit cut side down for 3 to 5 minutes or until the fruit is well-marked and slightly soft.
Each type of fruit will cook at different rates. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Slice each of the peaches, bananas and figs.
Combine in a bowl and allow to stand for 30 minutes to combine flavors.

While the fruit is standing, make the zabaglione.
Use either a double boiler or a pot with a few inches of water and a stainless steel bowl large enough to cover the pot but not touch the water. 
Bring the water in the boiler or pot to a simmer.
Put the egg yolks, the egg and the sugar in the top of the double boiler or in the bowl and whisk for 2 – 3 minutes until combined well.
Put the top on the boiler or place the bowl over the pot.
Whisk for about 8 to 10 minutes or until the mixture coats a spoon.
Add the limoncello and cream and whisk for another 10 minutes or so until it begins to thicken.
Remove from the heat and immerse the top of the boiler or bowl in an ice bath to cool the zabaglione.

Cut the shortcake horizontally. Fill with the fruit mixture and sprinkle berries on top.
Pour zabaglione over the fruit to fill the cake and then place the ‘cover’ piece on top.
Sprinkle the plate with more berries and garnish with more zabaglione and a sprig of fresh mint (whipped cream is optional).

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