This spring we are reveling in eating sweet strawberries from the Tailgate Markets. We’ve made three batches of strawberry shortcake so far, along with a strawberry tart. What a wonderful way to celebrate strawberry season.
Strawberry shortcake is easy to make. Basically you just make sweet biscuits, then cut them in half, and layer them with strawberries and whipped cream.
STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE RECIPE
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour*
½ cup whole wheat pastry flour*
¼ cup cornmeal*
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 heaping tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick butter
¾ to 1 cup half-and-half (or cream which is especially good)
Half-and-half and Sugar for topping shortcakes – courser sugar looks pretty
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Mix well.
Gently grate the butter and evenly fold the grated butter into the dry mixture, trying to keep the butter pieces from sticking to each other. Put bowl in freezer for a few minutes.
Remove bowl from freezer, and gently stir the half-and-half into the dough until it is sticking together well and will form a somewhat sticky ball (that you are able to handle). The dough should not be too super-sticky or too stiff.
Put the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead gently for about ½ minute. Pat the dough into a rectangular shape about ¾ inch thick. Cut out individual shortcakes with a biscuit cutter about the size of a soup can. Combine remaining dough, re-pat out the dough to ¾ inch thick, and cut out the remaining shortcakes…until you have used up all the dough.
Arrange on a baking sheet around an inch apart. Brush shortcakes with cream or half-and-half and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until nicely brown on top, about 14 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool.
Makes 8 or 9 shortcakes
*You can also use 2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour, and eliminate the whole wheat pastry flour and the cornmeal.
Strawberries – enough for about 6 shortcakes
2 pints strawberries, organic
Sugar to taste, about 1 tsp-1 tbsp per pint, depending on berry sweetness
orange juice or lemon juice, just a splash
Pull the caps from strawberries and slice about 1/8 inch thick. Add sugar to taste. Add a splash of orange or lemon juice. Toss to combine, taste and add more sugar if needed. Cover and refrigerate until assembling the shortcakes.
Whipped Cream – enough for about 6 shortcakes
1 pint heavy whipping cream, organic
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a cold, steep-sided bowl, whip cream until it forms stiff peaks. Be careful not to over-whip the cream and “make butter”. Once stiff peaks are forming, gently fold in one teaspoon of vanilla.
Whipping the Cream
Assembling the Strawberry Shortcakes:
With a bread knife, cut each shortcake in half. Ladle strawberries on to the bottom half of the shortcake, and add a generous dollop of whipped cream. Top that with the upper half of the shortcake. Ladle more strawberries on to the top shortcake, and add another generous dollop of whipped cream. Garnish the very top with a strawberry if you like. Using these amounts of strawberries and whipped cream, you will have two or three extra (plain) shortcakes.
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