Inspired by her childhood in the Azores, Maria Moreira crafts a one-of-a-kind Portugese Cheese at her farm in Lancaster
Daniel Bruce's native: Strawberry and mint shortcake with mapled fresh Portuguese cheese
Here's a New England favorite with a Portuguese twist made by Daniel Bruce, executive chef of Rowes Wharf Restaurant in the Boston Harbor Hotel.
For the biscuits:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 large egg, beaten
1 egg yolk, beaten
For the filling:
1 quart fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled
1/2 cup real maple syrup
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
8 ounces fresh Portuguese cheese ( 3/4 of a 12-ounce round)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the biscuits, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Form a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk and egg. Mix the dough with a fork or with your fingers until it is just incorporated.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out to a 1-inch thickness and cut out 6 rounds with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter. Transfer the biscuits to a baking sheet and brush the tops with the egg yolk. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
To make the filling, cut the strawberries into quarters and place in a medium-sized bowl. Add 1/4 cup of the maple syrup and the mint, and toss to combine. Let marinate for 2 hours.
Meanwhile, place the cheese in a cheesecloth-lined strainer over a bowl. Drape the cheesecloth over the cheese (to protect it) and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Remove the cheese from the cheesecloth and place in a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade. With the motor running, slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup of maple syrup and the vanilla. Mix until blended.
Cut the shortcakes in half and fill each one with a portion of the strawberries. Top with a generous dollop of the mapled Portuguese cheese.
By Victoria Abbott Riccardi, Globe Correspondent