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What’s for dessert?: Old-fashioned strawberry shortcakes

Categories: Food & Cooking

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Serves 12

It’s strawberry season, and every little strawberry wishes it could grow up and become a strawberry shortcake.

For the biscuits:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse of kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus extra butter for greasing the baking sheets
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk

For the strawberries:

  • 3 pounds strawberries, stemmed and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • For the whipped cream:
  • 2 cups cold heavy or whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease two baking sheets with butter.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Add the cold butter and using your fingers, a fork, or a pastry blender, blend the butter into the dry ingredients until the bits of butter are the size of small peas.  Gradually add the milk and using your hand (this is messy but keeps the dough light), mix just until the liquid is incorporated, stopping as soon as you have a dough that sticks together.  Do not overwork the dough.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently pat the mixture until it is an even 1-inch thick slab.  Use a floured 2 1/2 or 3-inch biscuit cutter (or a not-thick glass with about that diameter) to cut rounds and place them about 2-inches apart on the buttered baking sheets.  Bake for about 12 minutes, until the tops are lightly browned.  Cool slightly on a wire rack.

4. Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, combine the strawberries with the sugar.  In another medium-sized bowl, use an electric mixer to blend the cream until soft peaks form.  Add the confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla and beat until blended and the whipped cream forms stiff peaks.

5. Split open the still-warm biscuits and place the bottom of each one on an individual plate.  Pile on about 1/3 cups sweetened sliced strawberries, top with a dollop of whipped cream, then place the top each biscuit slightly off center on the shortcake.  Serve immediately.

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