Strawberry Shortcake

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I grew up with dessert. It wasn’t for a special occasion that dessert was served in my house. There were too many apples- make apple crisp. We just picked blueberries-make a pie. It’s strawberry season-make shortcake. You’d think I would lose the appreciation for a sweet, seasonal dessert, but that’s not the case. When fresh, seasonal fruit is involved I savour it like gold. When comparing the strawberries during the summer versus the rest of the for example, there is no comparison. Sun heated, jammy, sweet and almost too-ripe berries are one of my favourite things ever. Seriously.

I know there are a million different variations of shortcake, british scones, american cakes, trifle hybrids, fools…there’s a lot of ways to have strawberries, cream and cake.

My favourite variation is my mom’s recipe. She makes a giant sugar-crusted biscuit, whips way too much cream, sprinkles the tiniest amount of sugar into sliced berries and layers it all together. It’s light, fresh texturally awesome. The sometimes soft inside and slightly over-cooked outside of the biscuit is carmelly, toasty and has just enough savoury edge to convince you it’s totally a legit breakfast. I don’t need much to sway me in the direction of dessert for breakfast by the way.

I love the idea of an individual dessert, it’s reminiscent of a plated restaurant selection-an experience I’ll take any day. When I made these cute little cakes, I decided on the classiness of a personal plate. I also wanted extra biscuits to eat for breakfast the next day.

My mom’s biscuit recipe is fantastic, but I think this updated version is a bit fluffier and butterier, which in my mind are never bad attributes. I’ve also been very rough with my measurements. This dessert is rustic and forgiving. If you want more berries or cream, add more. If you have other fresh fruit, add them too-this is a very basic guideline.

Another note, the biscuit recipe I used was for strawberry filled biscuits, which I made last year and would definitely recommend trying. I was rationing my berries when I made these. That is to say I won’t attempt the strawberry-squared before the summer is over! Otherwise, follow the directions, but omit the berries.

Strawberry Shortcake

Serves 6

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Biscuits

  • 2 1/4 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) cold, unsalted butter
  • **1 cup (about 130 grams) chopped very ripe strawberries 
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bottom of a large, wide-ish bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, sugar and salt together. Add butter, either by cutting it in with two knives or a pastry blender (alternatively, you can freeze the butter and grate it in on the large holes of a box grater; a tip I learned from you guys) cut it into the flour mixture with a pastry blender, breaking it up until the mixture resembles a crumbly meal with tiny pea-sized bits of butter about.
  3. Gently stir in the strawberries, so that they are coated in dry ingredient, then stir in heavy cream. (I like to use a rubber spatula to gently lift and turn the ingredients over each other.)
  4. When you’ve mixed it in as best as you can with the spatula, go ahead and knead it once or twice in the bowl, to create one mass. Do not worry about getting the dough evenly mixed. It’s far more important that the dough is not overworked.
  5. Generously flour your counter. With as few movements as possible, transfer your dough to the counter, generously flour the top of it and with your hands or a rolling pin, gently roll or press the dough out to a 3/4-inch thickness.
  6. Cut into 2 1/2-inch circles with a floured biscuit cutter or top edge of a drinking glass, pressing straight down and not twisting (this makes for nice layered edges) as you cut. Carefully transfer scones to prepared baking sheet, leaving a couple inches between each.
  7. You can re-roll the scraps of dough, but don’t freak out over how wet the dough becomes as the strawberries have had more time to release their juice. They’ll still bake up wonderfully
  8. Bake the scones for 12 to 15 minutes, until bronzed at the edges and the strawberry juices are trickling out of the biscuits in places. Cool in pan for a minute, then transfer to a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Garnish

  • 4 cups strawberries, hauled and sliced (more or less, depending on your picking/purchasing inventory)
  • 1-2 cup whipping cream (depending on how generous you’re feeling)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  1. Place bowl and beaters in freezer until ready to use. The coldness will ensure maximum volume.
  2. Wash, haul and slice strawberries. Place in bowl with 2 tablespoons of sugar, let sit a minimum of 1 hour at room temperate. The sugar will release the juices and bring out the natural sweetness.
  3. Pour cream into chilled bowl, whip until medium peaks form, adding remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and vanilla. Set aside.

Assemble

  1. Cut biscuit in half, spooning a generous dollop of cream onto base then adding berries on top of that. Put the top back on and repeat. Dig in!

Of course you can do this steep however you wish, I like the double-decker sandwich style.

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4 responses to “Strawberry Shortcake

  1. Pingback: Strawberry Rhubarb Breakfast Mini Loaves aka Rachael Ray Loaves | the windowsill·

  2. Pingback: Toasted Almond Pavlova with Lime Curd + Stone Fruit | the windowsill·

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