I like to cut these tender shortcakes into square pieces so as not to waste the dough. Feel free to use any combination of sliced stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, pluots) in place of the plums and apricots we’ve used here. Serve a little vanilla ice cream on the side, if you like.
To make the topping:
Toss the plums and apricots with the mint, sugar, and orange juice. Cover and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until the flavors blend, at least 1 hour but not longer than 4 hours.
To make the shortcakes:
Heat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment (or use an ungreased pan). In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt until well blended. With a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the pieces are no larger than a pea. Add the buttermilk and vanilla extract and gently toss until just blended. (The dough will be shaggy, not completely bound together.) Scrape the dough from the bowl onto counter. Quickly and gently pat the dough into a 6x4-inch rectangle. Lightly flour a large, sharp knife and trim off any raggedy edges. Cut the dough in half lengthwise and then in thirds across to form six squares, lightly flouring the knife between cuts. Put the squares on the baking sheet and bake until puffed and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
To assemble the dessert:
Split the shortcakes in half crosswise and put each bottom on a serving plate. Spoon a generous amount of the fruit mixture, including the juice, onto the shortcake bottoms. Cover with the shortcake tops. Serve immediately.
nutrition information (per serving):
Photo: Mark Ferri