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Aug 11, 2019

Peach Shortcakes with Candied Pecans

When there are fresh and juicy peaches available, you must make these Peach Cornmeal Shortcakes with Candied Pecans. 

Peach Shortcakes with Candied Pecans

These peach shortcakes with candied pecans begin with tender cornmeal biscuits. These biscuits are soft with a slight crunch from the medium grind cornmeal.

Between the tender biscuits and the candied pecans (and of course the juicy peaches), these peach shortcakes do have a Southern feel. It's the perfect dessert for this pan-fried catfish and corn dinner, or this BLT sandwich with roasted pimento cheese.

Peach Shortcakes with Candied Pecans and whipped cream

Shopping list for these peach shortcakes:

  • Pecan halves (you'll only need a half cup)
  • Medium grind yellow cornmeal (I used Bob's Red Mill)
  • While not necessary, I topped my biscuits with sparking sugar. Regular will work just fine. 
  • Fresh and juicy peaches

From your pantry and refrigerator:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Vanilla extract
  • Unsalted butter
  • Heavy cream
  • Large egg white

Equipment you might need:

You'll need a half sheet pan, some parchment paper, and a 3 1/2 inch round cookie cutter. The biscuit recipe is also best prepared in a stand mixer. You could also use a food processor.

Assembling Peach Shortcakes with Candied Pecans and whipped cream

How to Make Peach Cornmeal Shortcakes with Candied Pecans:

First, you will need to toast the pecans. I used a cast iron frying pan, but any heavy skillet will work. You can also toast the pecans in the oven, but be sure to watch them closely. They can go from toasted to burned in a nanosecond. 

To candy the pecans, you will need to bring water and sugar to a boil and watch it very closely (stare at it nonstop while it's cooking basically) until it turns golden brown. Remove it from the heat, stir in the toasted pecans, and then move them one-by-one to a wire rack. The candy will harden super quickly so moving them one-by-one will keep them from clumping together. 

Next, make the biscuits by mixing the dry ingredients with cold butter until you have a crumbly mixture. Mix in the milk briefly, and roll the mixture out to about 3/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into 3 1/2 inch rounds and bake them on a parchment lined baking sheet. 

In the meantime, peel the peaches by briefly boiling them and then plunging them in ice water. See the peach above? That is a peeled peach using this method! Isn't it gorgeous?

Finally, slice the biscuits in half and pile on the peaches and sweetened whipped cream. Garnish with the pecans. 

Peach Cornmeal Shortcakes with Candied Pecans and whipped cream

Peach Cornmeal Shortcake Recipe Variations:

This shortcake recipe can easily be adapted to any fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries. Naturally, nectarines would be fantastic, and you wouldn't even have to peel them. In the fall, you could use cooked apples or pears for a delicious holiday treat. 

You could also add some bourbon to the whipped cream to make this dish a little boozy and even more Southern. 

Peach Cornmeal Shortcakes with Pecans and whipped cream

Make ahead tips for these peach shortcakes:

The candied pecans can be made a day in advance and stored in an airtight container....  but don't get me started on these or tell me where you've stored them.... I would probably eat them all before I've had a chance to serve them. They are that good. 

You can also make the biscuits in advance. You will need to reheat them in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes before serving. You can also peel and slice the peaches earlier in the day and store them in the refrigerator. 

While fresh whipped cream should be made and served immediately, you can use a product such as Whip It to stabilize the whipped cream for serving later. Of course, I have no objection to using ReddiWip when you are serving a crowd!

Shortcakes with Peaches Candied Pecans and whipped cream

This week, the From Our Dinner Table group is presenting peach recipes. I'm so excited to share all of the recipes with you:

Peach Recipes

Peach Shortcake with Candied Pecans and whipped cream

Peach Cornmeal Shortcake with Candied Pecans Recipe

Yield: 6 servings
When there are fresh and juicy peaches available, you must make these Peach Cornmeal Shortcakes with Candied Pecans.


For the Candied Pecans
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted
For the Cornmeal Shortcakes
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) all-purposed flour
  • 1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) medium ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup (2 5/8 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 9 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg white, beaten
  • Sparking or regular sugar for topping
To Assemble the Shortcakes
  • 4 large ripe peaches
  • 1 tablespoons sugar
  • Sweetened whipped cream (your favorite recipe)


How to make Peach Cornmeal Shortcake with Candied Pecans Recipe

To Make the Candied Pecans
  1. Line a quarter sheet pan with foil and place a rack over the foil. Spray the rack with spray oil. Spray two forks with spray oil and set aside. 
  2. Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a non-stick sauce pan, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. 
  3. Cook the sugar and water, without stirring, until the mixture starts to turn golden brown. Watch closely. 
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the pecans. 
  5. Using the forks, remove the pecan halves, one at a time, to the wire rack. 
  6. Let cool. 
For the Cornmeal Shortcakes
  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. 
  2. Add the butter pieces and mix until the mixture gets all crumbly. 
  3. Mix the cream and vanilla and add it to the flour and butter mixture. Mix on low speed just enough to bring the mixture together. 
  4. Turn the dough out onto a flour dusted work surface and gather it together. 
  5. Roll it out to 3/4 inch thick and cut it into 3 1/2 inch rounds with a cookie or biscuit cutter. Gather up the scraps, re-roll, and cut more biscuits. 
  6. Place the rounds onto a parchment lined baking sheet set in another baking sheet (2 baking sheets/double-pan  method to prevent over browning). 
  7. Brush the shortcakes with the egg white and sprinkle with granulated or sparkling sugar. 
  8. Bake the biscuits for 20 minutes. Cool in the pan. 
To Prepare the Peaches
  1. While the biscuits are baking, Prepare the peaches.
  2. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and prepare a bowl with ice water. 
  3. Cut an "X" into the bottom of each peach. 
  4. Add the peaches into the boiling water and boil for one minutes. 
  5. Plunge the peaches into the ice water. 
  6. Remove the peaches from the ice water and peel them with your fingers. 
  7. Cut the peaches in half, remove the pit, and slice the peaches. 
  8. Toss the peach slices with some sugar in a bowl. 
To Assemble the Shortcakes
  1. Slice the shortcakes in half horizontally. 
  2. Top each bottom half with some peaches and sweetened whipped cream. Top with the other half of the shortcake and garnish with some of the pecans. 
shortcake, peaches, peach, dessert
Created using The Recipes Generator

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This recipe was adapted from Tom Douglas' Seattle Kitchen. This cookbook, published in 2001, is a James Beard Award winner. The recipe didn't have some of the necessary details (like when to add the vanilla), but once I figured it out, it was totally worth it. I have three Tom Douglas cookbooks, including The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook and Tom's Big Dinners. If you are a crab cake fan, check out his I Love Crab Cakes.

I used to go to Seattle quite a bit, and my favorite restaurants, unbeknownst to me, were all owned by Tom Douglas. I always had breakfast at Lola's (the automatic doughnut appetizers are killer good) or Dahlia Bakery, lunch at Etta's, and dinner at Dahlia Lounge or Palace Kitchen. Since then, his restaurant empire has expanded, and yet my favorite restaurants are all still there. .

Would you like to comment?

  1. I"m afraid I wouldn't leave any candied pecans for the garnish. I'm sure I couldn't keep my hands off of them. Love that you used a cornmeal shortbread.

    1. Thanks Wendy. The pecans were my downfall.

  2. My husband has been dyign for a peach dessert and this one looks amazing! The pecans are great for crunch too!

  3. No lie, my mouth was watering looking at this recipe. Love candied pecans, the bourbon whipped cream sounds amazing, but the part that really grabbed me was the cornmeal shortcakes.

  4. These are so beautiful! I love the layers of peaches and whipped cream! The sugar topping looks amazing too.

  5. Delicious! Love the add of the candied pecans!


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