Cornmeal Shortcakes with Peaches, Mint and Soured Cream
While living in Rhode Island and working at Al Forno restaurant in Providence, Suzanne Goin was fascinated by the celebrations that revolved around food (especially in the Italian and Portuguese neighborhoods) and the connection Rhode Islanders felt to certain local produce, like their native tomatoes and homegrown corn.
The most prized dish in tiny Rhode Island is the johnnycake. Originally called journey cakes, these cornmeal griddle cakes, made with locally milled native corn, have been the pride and joy of Rhode Island since the seventeenth century. County competitions are held annually, and there's even a group called the Society for the Propagation of Johnny Cakes that sees to it that their corn-pancake tradition stays alive and well.
So it seemed natural at Al Forno to add that famous stone-ground corn to their shortcake biscuit. Here Goin has borrowed Al Forno's foolproof recipe and added peaches and her own "soured cream." To get the peaches nice and saucy, she marinates them in simple syrup with mint and then purees a portion of the fruit to spoon over the biscuit. Feel free to make this shortcake with whatever juicy fruit you like, such as nectarines or berries.