2 to 2 1/2 pounds of blackberries (6 to 8 cups), gently rinsed if fresh, defrosted if frozen (save any juices that come from defrosting!)
1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of sugar (to taste, depending on the tartness of the berries)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
3 cups flour
3 Tbsp sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
8 Tbsp cold butter, cut into small cubes
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons powdered sugar
A few drops of vanilla extract


1.Macerate the berries with sugar: Put the blackberries into a large bowl, sprinkle with sugar, and toss to coat all the berries with sugar. Use a potato masher to gently mash about half of the berries, releasing their juices. Stir in lemon juice and zest. Let sit for 20 minutes to an hour to macerate, allowing the sugar to help release more of the juices from the blackberries.
2.Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder salt. Cut in butter: In a large bowl vigorously whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the chilled butter cubes and use your fingers (or a fork, pastry cutter, or food processor) to break up the butter and mix with the flour until the largest pieces of butter are the size of peas.
3.Add cream and vanilla: Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the cream and vanilla. Use a fork to mix the flour and the cream until the dough just comes together. It should have a rather shaggy appearance. Empty on to a clean surface and knead a few times to form a loose ball. Do not over mix or over-knead!
4.Form into square shape and chill: Place ball on a small tray or baking sheet and form into an 8-inch by 8-inch square. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill for 15 to 20 minutes.
5.Cut into squares, arrange on baking sheet: Preheat oven to 425°F. Once the dough has chilled sufficiently, remove it from the refrigerator and cut it into 9 even squares. Arrange them on a baking sheet with an inch or two between each square.
6.Bake: Bake at 425°F until the biscuits are nicely browned, about 18 minutes.
7.Make whipped cream: While the biscuits are baking place the heavy whipping cream into a large chilled bowl (I usually put a metal mixing bowl into the freezer for a few minutes if I know I'm going to be making whipped cream.) Sprinkle with powdered sugar and a few drops of vanilla extract. Use a hand mixer to beat until you have peaks that somewhat hold their shape. Chill until ready to serve.
8.Assemble shortcakes: When the biscuits are ready, remove them from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes. To serve, place one in a bowl or dessert plate, pull it apart in half. Place a large scoop of berries and the juices from the berries over the bottom half. Top with the other half of the biscuit and a generous dollop of whipped cream.

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