Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Strawberry Shortcake

With April just around the corner Spring is peeking out and beckoning us to EAT STRAWBERRIES! As a Northern Californian I am pretty blessed to be able to find strawberries year round at my local stores, but nothing beats those coming in early Spring and Summer. The next time you pass by a roadside stand stop and buy a pint or two! And then make this deliciously easy take on Strawberry Shortcake for your family & friends.

I filmed a demo of this recipe with my friends over at When Creativity Knocks this weekend and the video will be posted here as well when it is all pretty & edited!!!

1 Pint fresh Strawberries washed & sliced (hulls removed)
2 Tablespoons Packed Brown Sugar
2 Tablespoons high quality Balsamic Vinegar

1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
Rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1 tablespoon milk or cream for brushing biscuits 
Turbinado (raw or coarse) Sugar for sprinkling 
(this is a sweeter adaptation of the buttermilk biscuit recipe I use)
6 oz Heavy Whipping Cream
1 Tablespoon Powdered Sugar


I love pound cake as much as the next girl but with the wonderful syrup created by the juicy strawberries, vinegar, & brown sugar in this recipe I want a little bit sturdier base for my Strawberry Shortcake. I have adapted a slightly sweeter version of my buttermilk biscuits for this recipe. You can form them in rustic blobs by pulling equal sized pieces off of the rolled dough or if you want a more uniform look roll your dough out and use a round cookie cutter.

Makes between 6-8 servings

In a medium bowl combine cleaned and sliced Strawberries, Vinegar, & Brown Sugar. Give this a gentle stir to evenly coat the strawberries and set aside (can be made up to 12 hours in advance giving the natural syrup time to meld, if you are preparing it further in advance than 1 hour refrigerate)

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 425°F.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a bowl. Blend in butter with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add buttermilk and stir with a fork until a dough just forms (dough will be moist).
Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead gently 6 times. At this point either roll out your dough to a 1/4 inch thickness and cut out rounds or just pulled off small handfuls and place on your parchment paper lined baking sheet with the rugged side up (I like a nice rustic look), arranging them 2 inches apart, brush tops with milk or cream and sprinkle with Turbinado (raw coarse) sugar. Bake until pale golden, 12 to 15 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool to room temperature. 
While biscuits are cooling and strawberries are syruping pour your heavy whipping cream into a medium/large glass or plastic mixing bowl with high sides. Add in powdered sugar (you can add more if you want it to be sweeter, since the strawberries will be sweet I like to contrast with a less sweet cream) With your hand mixer on high beat for 5- 8 minutes until the cream is standing in stiff peaks (if you pull the mixer from the bowl whipped cream will extend from the beaters without dripping and the mixture will be thick). You can also make this just as easily in a standing mixer!

To plate layer first a biscuit then strawberries and top with a dollop of your fresh whipped cream! Drizzle a little of the natural syrup from the bowl of strawberries if you wish!

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