This version of the favorite summer dessert features lemony shortcakes studded with diced peaches and a peaches and cream filling. If you like, substitute nectarines for the peaches.
Pit peaches. Using a serrated peeler, peel peach halves. Finely dice two of the peach halves. Set aside. Slice remaining peaches into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place in a medium-size bowl with sugar and lemon juice. Set aside.
Heat oven to 425 degree F. In a small bowl, blend together buttermilk, egg, oil and lemon rind. Stir in diced peaches. In large bowl, mix flour, 1/2 cup of the sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in flour mixture; add buttermilk mixture to well. With fork, gently stir just until evenly moistened and dough comes together. Gather dough together with floured hands. Lightly dust a cutting board with flour.
Pat dough into 14-inch log. With a floured knife, cut into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a 3-inch round. Transfer to baking sheet. Brush rounds with a little water, then sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the sugar.
Bake at 425 degree F for 20 to 22 minutes, until toothpick tests clean. Meanwhile, whip heavy cream with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar to medium-stiff peaks. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Cut each shortcake horizontally in half. Place each bottom half on a platter or plate. Spoon a little juice from the peaches onto each, then top with 1/2 to 2/3 cup peaches. Spoon 1/4 cup whipped cream onto fruit. Cover with top half of shortcake, cut side down and serve.