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Perfect Shortcake (HB egg yolks?) -- Beard/Forgoine/An American Place

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I visited St. Louis recently and tried the shortcake at An American Place. It was listed on the menu as Jim Beard's Shortcake which is why I ordered it. I remember hearing that Beard had an unusual recipe involving cooked egg yolks.

So, the shortcake was perfect.

Perfect.

Tender, rich, and soft with a crisp sugary exterior. The biscuit was a little sweeter than expected and that was somehow perfect. Needless to say it was warm, the blueberries were excellent, and the cream dreamy.

I have never had shortcake that was even close to this.

My immediate reaction to this shortcake was a bit of fantasy-- don't tell me you don't have them too....intense pride as I leaned back in my chair after a dinner party in front of happy, glowing guests and reeled in the compliments. The aha moment where everyone is telling me that is the best shortcake they've ever had and that I am so awesome...

but...

When I came home I discovered the recipe isn't in American Cookery, at least not one with egg yolks.

I did find some references on the web confirming that An American Place does use the egg yolk version but the only partial recipe I found was vague and had lackluster praise.

So...

Can anyone confirm that James Beard is, in fact, famous for a shortcake recipe with HB egg yolks? Am I dreaming this?

That An American Place does in fact use such a recipe? or that it uses a different JB recipe, and if so, which one?

Does anyone have such a recipe, in either another JB cookbook or in the one from American Place?

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  1. The shortcake recipe in the cookbook An American Place by Forgione has 2 hard-cooked egg yolks in it. Could this be what you want? Published in 1996. Also in the NYTimes August 29, 2001.

    4 Replies
    1. re: wally

      I can paraphrase this later today if you want it. I would also be able to email it but not post it.

      1. re: wally

        I would appreciate it if you would paraphrase it for me. If I like the results I'll buy a copy of the cookbook. Thanks.

        1. re: JudiAU

          Old Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake (shortcake only)
          Forgione

          1/4 cup sugar plus 1T sugar
          3/4 cups heavy cream
          2 cups all-purpose flour
          1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
          6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces, plus additional for baking sheet
          2 hard-cooked large egg yolks, mashed until smooth
          2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted.

          Oven 375F. buttered baking sheet.

          Sift flour, 1/4 c. sugar, baking powder into bowl.
          Add butter and work with fingertips until like very fine crumbs.
          Add cream and egg yolks and stir with fork until it holds together.
          Knead lightly on floured surface until smooth. Can be overworked.
          Pat out to 3/4 inch. Cut 4 rounds. Reroll dough scraps and make 2 more.
          Put on baking sheet., brush with butter, sprinkle with 1 T. sugar.
          Bake middle oven, 12-15 min. until firm and golden.

          1. re: wally

            Thanks very much. I'll try it and report back.

    2. Goodness gracious, this sounds wonderful! Thanks to wally for the shortcake recipe.

      Just curious...how were the blueberries served in the dessert? Were they macerated in anything or as is?

      1. Most of the blueberries seemed fresh and unmacerated but there was a bit of juice so a few of them might have been crushed. They were terrific-- we rarely get such great blueberries in CA.