The key to biscuit shortcake is the sweet syrup that ties the peaches, cream, and biscuit together.

Despite our societal addiction to sugar and all things sweet, it’s odd when folks are reluctant to generously sweeten the fresh fruit for biscuit shortcake. That has included me, but I’m finally over it.

There’s nothing shameful about adding sugar to fresh fruit. In fact, it’s critical for great shortcake. Sweetening the fruit brings out the flavor and creates the heady syrup that ties together the three components–fresh fruit, cream, and the biscuit or cake. This is no time for scrimping.

Without the syrup, there’s no mingling at the party, no “whole is greater than the sum of the parts,” no swing. Without developing that sweet syrup all you’ve got is dry fruit rolling around a biscuit and a blob of cream.

Use whatever carrier you like, be it a slice of angel food cake or a slightly sweet/salty southern biscuit. No matter what you use, always sweeten the fruit.

Here’s a great biscuit shortcake inspired by my Martha White flour test kitchen days made with self-rising flour. The biscuit can have just a hint of sugar (or even none at all) but sweeten the fruit.

For more on making great biscuits, read our Biscuit Lab Manual.

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