So I’m pretty sure I’m way behind the trend on this one, so behind that Mason jar confections are probably out of the florally trendy garden party scene and have now moved into the pages of the Martha Stewart magazine and onto the tables of parties hosted by the middle-aged. Thank god children will be children and always want big cakes – making something similar to that which parents make for their kids – now that’s a generational jump I’m not ready to commit to just quite yet.
I have always wanted to make a Mason jar dessert – a dessert focused on portability and durability. For a while I entertained dreams of decorating grandeur, where I would become the master of fondants and beautiful cupcake frosting, but alas, I quickly realized that I just don’t care enough. It all looks the same in my stomach anyways, right? I have instead aimed for delicious flavors and interesting textures and subpar to decent presentation. But Mason jar desserts? They’re the perfect marriage (ew, marriage) of practicality and adorableness. Especially desserts, where each different, delectable layer is displayed enclosed in glass, the color of the fruit component elevated by the shine of the glass, like a more decadent and probably much-less-healthy parfait (at least the American version, granola and yogurt. Apparently, Europeans know how to do it right and make it a proper dessert).
It’s ironic on many levels that the person who inspired me to finally take on this project was my professor, who is in her mid-fifties and is an incredibly healthy person who teaches a class about consumption which technically touches on different aspects of consumption, from fashion to food, but really just teaches us that organic local non-GMO food is the way to go. I absolutely loved her class (I actually did all the readings!) and wished only for the billionth time that I’d gone with my gut and majored in History. Sadly, today was the last class, and as a parting gift, she brought in strawberry shortcakes in Mason jars. Even she commented on the fact that they’re no longer in style (then again, she does teach a class on consumption habits, so she’s sort of an expert in these matters). But whatever, they don’t need to be in the height of fashion to be absolutely delicious.
(Peach Treats Pt. 1 is also delicious! Check it out for another easily portable and equally delicious recipe.)
Mason Jar Peach Shortcakes – makes 15 mason jar servings
Biscuits (adapted from the Food Librarian)
2 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp salt
Scant 1/8 tsp nutmeg
7 tbsp unsalted butter, frozen
1 cup heavy cream, very cold
3 ripe peaches
1 1/2 cup blueberries
3 tsp sugar
Preheat oven to 425F.
In large mixing bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and nutmeg.
Using a box grater, grate butter into flour mixture. Using hands, gently mix butter into flour.
Make a well in the center and pour in heavy cream. Using hands or a wooden spoon, gently mix dough together.
Turn dough onto floured surface and roll out to 1in thickness. Using the mason jar as a circle cutter, cut out biscuits. (Make sure not to twist the jar; push down with speed and force, then pull straight up, otherwise, the biscuits won’t rise.)
Place biscuits on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 10-12 minutes.
Chop peaches and toss with blueberries and sugar. Let sit for 15 minutes.
Mascarpone Cheese Whipped Cream
1/2 cup chilled mascarpone cheese
2 cups chilled whipped cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
Combine ingredients in a medium bowl. Whisk until thick, soft peaks form. Cover and refrigerate.
(Optional: 2 cups heavy cream + 1/4 cup sugar + 2 tsp vanilla. Whip the ingredients together. Use as top layer.)
Carefully slice biscuits in half (I recommend using a serrated knife).
Place bottom half in the mason jar. Spoon the fruit mixture on top of the biscuit, until the jar is about 2/5 full. Next, add a dollop of mascarpone whipped cream. Finally, press the top half of the biscuit into the whipped cream. (Optional: top with a dollop of whipped cream.)
(This would also probably taste great with a caramel drizzle on top.)