Summer is berry-picking season, and this recipe mixes up the best of the red and the blue -- fresh strawberries and blueberries spooned over tasty shortcake biscuits and topped with a dollop of whipped cream.
Preheat the oven to 425°. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and sugar together in a large bowl.
Slice the margarine sticks into pats and add to the dry mixture. Using a handheld pastry cutter or your fingertips, mix the margarine and dry ingredients until they resemble a coarse meal. Avoid overmixing.
Make a small well in the center and pour the milk into it. Stir just until the mixture holds together. If the dough appears too sticky, sprinkle in a little more flour.
Turn the shortcake dough onto a lightly floured countertop or pastry cloth and pat into a 1-inch-thick circle, handling it as little as possible. Do not knead the dough; doing so will make the shortcake biscuits heavy.
Use a biscuit cutter or inverted cup to cut out the shortcakes, and arrange about 1 1/2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool before serving. Makes 10 to 12 shortcake biscuits.
To make the strawberries in syrup, wash and hull the strawberries and slice them into a glass bowl. Sprinkle with the sugar. Stir a few times, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. The strawberries will release some juice and make a light syrup. Stir once again before spooning the berries on top of the shortcakes.
Before whipping the cream, place a stainless steel bowl in the freezer for a little while to chill. Pour the whipping cream into the chilled mixing bowl. Add the maple syrup (you can substitute a teaspoon of vanilla extract or a couple of tablespoons of sugar) and whip with an electric mixer or a whisk until stiff. Keep refrigerated until you're ready to serve the dessert.
To serve the shortcake, split the biscuits into halves. Spoon some of the strawberries and syrup onto the bottom halves. Cover with the remaining shortcake halves and spoon more of the strawberries on top. Top with the whipped cream and garnish with fresh blueberries.