This month's theme for Have the Cake was Strawberry Shortcakes. Strawberries are my absolute favorite fruit. I LOVE, LOVE strawberry season. I went thru a period recently where I did not want to try anything new. I seem to be out of that rut. I love the theme. I made the Strawberry Shortcakes from "The Sweet Melissa Baking Book."
The recipe whipped up in no time. I did not make the home made whipped Cream. I opted for Cool Whip!
I have to say these were the best shortcakes I have ever made or had. They were so delicious. Sweet by not too sweet.
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 T sugar, plus 1 T for glazing
1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
4 T cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 T whole milk or heavy cream for glazing
1 dry quart fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled and sliced
3 T sugar (or ore to your taste)
1 cup cold heavy cream
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 T plus 1 1/2 tsp sugar
Before you start:
Position a rack in the center of your oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil.
To Make the Strawberries:
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the floor, baking powder, salt, 2 T of the sugar, and the zest. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until it resembles a coarse meal. Little by little, stir in heavy cream until the dough starts to hold together (you may use a bit more cream if need be).
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Pat together to form a rectangle 5 inches wide by 7 1/2 inches long that is about 1 inch thick. cut the long side of the dough into thirds, and the width in half to form six 2 1/2 inch squares. Place the shortcakes 3 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
3. Brush the tops of the shortcakes with the milk or heavy cream and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
While the shortcakes are cooling, prepare the strawberries. In a medium bowl, combine the sliced strawberries with the sugar. Set aside for 20-30 minutes to macerate.
To Make the Whipped Cream:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the heavy cream and vanilla on medium speed. In a slow steady stream, add the sugar and beat until the mixture forms medium-stiff peaks.
The whipped cream is best used when just made, but can be refrigerated in an airtight container overnight and beaten again before serving.
To Complete the Shortcakes:
Fork split each shortcake in half horizontally. Place one half on each of six plates. Spoon 2 tablespoons of berries on each. Top each with a large dollop of whipped cream. Spoon more berries on top Place each of the remaining halves on top of the berries. Garnish with more cream and berries, if desired.