US Soldier Made Summer Fruit Shortcake

Chef Egg at Walter Reed Army Hospital: Summer Fruit Shortcake

The highlight of my job as the "world coolest cooking teacher" is when I go to Walter Reed Army Hospital in Bethesda and cook with the wounded soldiers. I have been working with the injured service men and women once a month of for the past 4 years.

These brave soldiers have been injured in Iraq and Afghanistan on security operation and are at Walter Reed recuperating from a variety of ailments. The injuries that I see in the occupational therapy ward are TBI (Traumatic Brain Injuries), PTS (Post Traumatic Stress) and limb amputations. The soldiers are working on physical and mental skills in an effort to get back on track with ever day life. During our cooking groups they are learning skills including dexterity, flexibility, life skills and sequencing events. Needless to say my teaching skills and patients are in full effect while working in this environment.

Most of the soldiers are used to army cooking and fast food, so home cooking is something that is very new to them. I like to keep the menu filled with fruits, vegetable and whole grains. Teaching real cooking techniques will give these servicemen and women the skills they need to keep themselves and their families healthy for years to come.

So far this summer we made all kinds of great seasonal foods like seared steak tacos, grilled lamb, broiled spiced chicken, homemade hummus, tzadziki and fresh green salads. This week we made my favorite dessert, a fresh summer fruit shortcake. We schmeered a hot baked biscuit with apricot jelly filled it with berries, apricots and peaches and topped it with fresh whipped cream. Remember that you can make you shortcake with any kind of cake, fruit and cream mixture that you like.

Now Get Crackin! Chef Egg

Fresh Summer Fruit Shortcake

  • 4 Prepared Biscuits
  • 4 tbs. Apricot Jam
  • 3 C Fresh Summer Fruit, chopped
  • 2 tbs. Agave Nectar or Sugar
  • 8 oz. Heavy Cream, ice cold
  • 2 tbs. Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • Bake the biscuits in the oven; I like to use Pilsbury Grand's biscuits because they are extra buttery and delicious. While those are cooking, chop up the fruit (peaches, plums, apricots, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, mangoes and kiwi) or anything you like and toss it with a little sugar or agave nectar. If you want to roll hard, add a shot of Grande Marnier to the mix. Put that in the fridge and then whip the cream in a bowl with a spoonful of sugar and the vanilla.

    Carefully take the biscuits out of the oven, slice in half, spread a spoonful of jam on the inside. Place the biscuit on a plate, top with a heaping spoonful of fruit, a big dollop of whipped cream and then finally with the top of the biscuit.


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    Stacey Graybeal Kanner 8/3/12 - 10:35 AM
    Great job Chef Egg!

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