Thursday, May 1, 2008

Strawberry Shortcake

Given that strawberries are just coming into season (you can get a carton for $0.98 at Wal-Mart!) I thought I'd start off my contributions to Recipe Week, and to this blog, with a summer favorite: Strawberry Shortcake! Unfortunately, unlike Rachael, I am not a great improvisor. This recipe comes from "The All-American Dessert Book", by Nancy Baggett, but I've modified it slightly here.

Want this?



Try this:

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus a little more for shaping dough
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Generous 1/2 teaspoon salt
5 1/2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
Generous 1 cup buttermilk, plus more if desired. (You can make a substitute by pouring 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup, then pouring in enough milk to make 1 cup.)

1 carton strawberries (at least 3 cups, sliced)
at least 1/2 cup sugar

1 pint whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Instructions

Wash and slice the strawberries. Toss with sugar until all the sugar is absorbed; refrigerate for at least 1 hour, to allow juices to combine.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Generously grease an 8 to 8 1/2 inch round baking dish.

In a large bowl (I used the Kitchenaid) thoroughly stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sprinkle the butter over the flour mixture and cut in until the butter is incorporated in very fine bits; scrape up the flour underneath to be sure it is evenly incorporated.

Being very careful not to overmix, gently stir the buttermilk into the flour-butter mixture until the dough just comes together. Add more buttermilk, if necessary, to produce a soft, moist dough. Sprinkle evenly with 1 1/2 tablespoons flour. Knead in the bowl 5 or 6 times to form a smooth mass, adding a little more flour to prevent stickiness, if necessary (I ended up adding about 2 more tablespoons). Let stand for 1 minute. With flour-dusted hands, shape and smooth the dough into a 6-inch disk. Brush any excess flour from the top. Place the disk in the pan. Press and pat out into an evenly thick round. If necessary, dust your hands with flour or lightly dust the dough with flour to prevent sticking.

Bake for 17 to 22 minutes, or until the top is puffy and browned. Let cool to warm, then tip out of the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.

When biscuit is almost completely cool, whip the cream, adding vanilla and sugar when the cream forms soft peaks. Using a large serrated knife, split the biscuit round in half horizontally. Center the bottom half cut side up on a serving plate and top with half the strawberries and juice, and a generous half of the whipped cream. Top with the second round, cut side down. Spread with the remaining whipped cream, and then add the remaining berries and juice.


Cut into wedges and serve.


Enjoy with a glass of milk, and with plenty of friends or family around to share!

1 comment:

lanada said...

holy heavy cream, batman! i totally made these the other night!

...except i cheated and made the bisquik recipe on the box because it was faster and i wanted to get back to the american idol party. you are officially a better person than me.