1cupall-purpose flour, unbleached(plus extra for rolling out dough)
1/4cup plus 3 tablespoonsgranulated sugar, divided
1cupfresh cherries (about 15), stems removed and pitted
6half-pintglass mason jars, lids and inserts removed
1 1/2cupsfresh whipped cream, or spray whipped cream can also be used
Preheat the oven to 425° F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, 1/4 cup of the sugar, baking powder and salt.
Slice the cold butter into small pieces. Add the butter to the flour mixture and use a pastry blender to cut it into the dry ingredients. If any large pieces remain, use your fingers to squeeze and flatten them.
Add in the half-and-half and use a spoon to toss and combine the mixture.
Dust a work surface with flour and turn the contents of the bowl out onto the floured area. Sprinkle the top with a bit more flour and knead by hand for just 2 or 3 minutes until it has just come together into a smooth dough (add a sprinkle more flour to the work surface or dough to keep it from getting too sticky.)
Roll the dough out to a 1/2" thickness. Use a 2-inch round cookie cutter to cut circles from the dough. (Or use a glass or clean lid if you don't have a cutter - I found a 2-inch diameter lid on a large spice bottle!)
Place the shortcake dough circles on the prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake in the preheated oven for 7-8 minutes, until they are slightly puffed and just before they start to brown. Remove them to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
While the shortcake is baking, prepare the fruit: use a small paring knife to remove the skins from the nectarines. Slice out and remove the pit. Cut the nectarines into small pieces and place them in a medium bowl.
Slice the pitted cherries into small pieces and combine them with the cut up nectarine. Sprinkle the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar over the fruit and toss to coat. Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the fruit to sit for 30 minutes.
Once the fruit has finished macerating and the shortcakes are cool, assemble the trifles: place one shortcake round in the bottom of a mason jar. Add in 2 tablespoons of the fruit mixture (including the sweet juices from the bottom of the bowl), top with about 1 tablespoon of whipped cream (eyeball it if you're using spray whipped cream from a can.) Place another shortcake round on top of the cream, top with 2 more tablespoons of fruit. Finish the top of the trifle with a generous dollop (or squirt) of whipped cream.
Serve immediately. The trifles may also be assembled and refrigerated for up to an hour before serving. Makes 6 servings.