Sunday, June 19, 2011

Berry Exciting Shortcake

Mid June has to be the sweetest time of the year. This is the time of year we take to the open strawberry fields and pick til our fingers are red and our backs are broken. So today I picked strawberries for tonite's dessert, tomorrow's cereal and afternoon smoothies.
Then I'll go back next week and pick more to make jams and to fill the freezer for a taste of spring in the height of winter. Strawberry picking has become my favorite season these last few years for me--though, I'm pretty keen on our blueberry season as well--but fresh, just picked strawberries are just that good! I just had my cast removed from my fall and still hobbling along in a half cast, but my good friend Marianne came along to give me a helping hand picking. Thanks so much my friend!

To me, the most important part of a strawberry shortcake, besides having beautiful strawberries is the shortcake. Wouldn't you want a moist, sweet flavor of a cake, mixed with the buttery, flakiness of a pastry. These biscuits are so moist on the inside they will almost seem like they are not cooked- but they are! The top is biscuity and has a nice sugary crust. Paired with a vanilla scented whipped cream and fresh strawberries, well it's just a delicious treat. Your friends and family will just love them!

Strawberry Shortcake

2 cups flour
3 TBLS sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup cold butter, cut up into small pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups fresh strawberries, stems removed and halved
3 TBLS sugar

Whipped Cream
1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
2 TBLS white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

The Berries

Take two cups of the sliced strawberries and add them to a bowl. Sprinkle them with the 3 TBLS of sugar, and leave them to meld.

Shortcake Bisquit

In a food processor, add the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Pulse to combine. Pulse in the cold butter and mix until the dough has a coarse crumb texture.
In a separate bowl, combine the cream and the vanilla. Add this to the wet ingredients and pulse to combine. The dough will be moist and crumbly. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Press the dough together with your hands until it forms a disc of dough. Cut it into 4 pieces, and gently form them into circles.

Place the shortcakes onto a silpat or parchment lined sheet pan. Gently brush the tops with a little leftover cream and sprinkle them with sugar. Bake the shortcakes for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let them cool at least slightly before cutting them in half horizontally.

Now remove the top of the shortcake and spoon about a half cup of the strawberries and juices onto the bottom of the cake. Top those berries with a big dollop of whipped cream. Place the top on the shortcake, and add another half cup of sliced strawberries, another smaller dollop of whipped cream and garnish the top each with a strawberry, and serve. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Karen said...

I didn't know you'd fallen! Glad you're doing better :) This is one beautiful dessert, Jady! The neighbors two doors down have a big strawberry patch. This year we found several plants in *our* garden... guess birds must've dropped the seeds here. There are several tiny little green berries already on the plants. It'll be fun to pick them even though there won't be many!