Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Strawberry Shortcakes

Strawberry Shortcakes

I've spent the last 10 days overdosing on fried seafood and ice cream up in Cape Cod. I'm a little squishier around the edges now than I was when I left, but oh, Arnold's fried clams are worth it. 

I'm ready to get back to cooking and baking though, and I definitely need some vegetables up in this piece. But first I want to get in one last party with native strawberries before enjoying some raspberries and blueberries.

I love strawberry shortcake because it's so simple and lets the berries shine. I like a lot of juice, so on top of the sugar I also add some dessert wine or Grand Marnier to the berries as they macerate. The cardamom in the biscuits is totally optional, but I love its aroma and unique spice. Give it a whirl! 

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake

For the biscuits:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
2 Tbsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 scant tsp cardamom
1/2 cup butter, chilled and cut into pieces
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cream, plus more for brushing

For the berries:
4 pints strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/3 cup dessert wine or orange liquer
1/4-1/2 cup sugar, (depending on how sweet the berries are)
pinch of salt

For the whipped cream:
1 1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
3 Tbsp confectioner's sugar

Chantilly Cream

1. In a large bowl combine the berries, wine or liquer, sugar and salt. Mix carefully, cover and let sit at room temperature until juices form, at least 30 minutes. 

2. In a large bowl, sift together the two flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and cardamom. Using a pastry cutter or fork, cut the butter into the flour and blend until it resembles coarse meal. 

3. In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk and cream. Add the liquid to the flour mixture and stir until a dough begins to form. 

4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead just until it holds together, about 10 turns. Flatten into a thick disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for about 30 minutes. 

5. Preheat the oven to 400F. On a floured surface, pat the dough out into a 1/2 inch round. Using a 3 inch wide biscuit cutter, cut out the biscuits and transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Brush the biscuits lightly with cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Cool on wire racks. 

6. To make the cream, add the chilled heavy cream to a large bowl and whisk until it begins to get foamy. Add the confectioner's sugar and continue to whisk until soft peaks form. Be careful not to overbeat.

7. Cut the biscuits in half horizontally and place the bottom halves in serving bowls. Divide the berries and their juice equally over the biscuits. Top each with the whipped cream and biscuit tops.

1 comment:

  1. Those are some beautiful looking shortcakes, so vibrant. I'd like to invite you to come by and link them up to Sweets for a Saturday (open till Monday night). http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/07/sweets-for-saturday-25.html