Strawberry Shortcake, Cream On Top... ~ The Garden of Eating - a sinfully good blog about food

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake, Cream On Top...

This post is a number of weeks overdue. But, as they say, better late than never, right?

Strawberry Shortcake by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2011

Last month, we spent an idyllic morning picking strawberries at Story Farms in Catskill with my sister-in-law, my two completely adorable nieces, and our good friend and her little daughter, who we already have our eye on for Will's future wife - after all, it's never too early to start meddling in your kid's life...

Meelia Pulling a Berry Out by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2011

It's been a pretty wet summer here so far - not the very best weather for strawberries, but despite the sogginess, the berries were excellent - fresh, juicy yet firm, sweet and flavorful. They also looked like jewels.

Strawberries by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2011

It was Will's first pick-your-own outing and let's just say he enjoyed it. He ran up and down the rows, taking breaks every few seconds to squat in the straw and stuff his mouth with berries. He looked downright grisly by the end - like the world's cutest toddler vampire (take that, Nessie Cullen!)

Will LOVES Berry Picking by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2011

We brought the only buckets we own - these adorable painted buckets that my mom and I got for Will - one features scenes from Curious George and the other has drawings from Dr. Seuss books.

Bucket of berries by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2011

It turns out that Will could care less about these charming buckets (anything that does not have wheels and a motor just does not make the cut for him these days), but I think they're pretty darn cute. Anyways, we filled them both and happily paid about $10 for our berry booty before hurrying home to make nap time.

Strawberries by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2011

Once Will had gone to sleep, we quickly washed and dried most of our berries and froze them to help see us through the looooong winter.

Fresh Strawberries Drying After a Rinse by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2011

But I kept some aside to make strawberry shortcake as it's a favorite dessert of my husband's. I used Elise at Simply Recipes' recipe for the biscuits though I was in a rush and made them a bit too small (gotta remember to bring a ruler down to the kitchen...)

Short biscuits by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2011

The rest was easy - slice the berries, toss them with some lemon juice and a little sugar and let them macerate a bit. Then serve with whipped cream, ice cream or a non-dairy alternative like Purely Decadent or Coconut Bliss - they're made with coconut milk and very tasty - definitely beat the pants off Rice Dream or any soy-based ice cream alternatives.

Strawberry Shortcake by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2011

Strawberry Shortcake
Makes 8

Ingredients

* 2 pints fresh strawberries
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 2 Tbsps lemon juice
* 3 cups all purpose flour
* 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
* 1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 12 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
* 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
* 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 8 oz whipping cream (or you can serve with ice cream if you prefer)

Directions

1. Rinse and hull the berries, then slice into a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup sugar and and 2 Tbsps lemon juice and mix into the strawberries. Set aside at room temperature to macerate (aka soften).

2. Make the biscuits. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Toss with a fork to combine. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or a fork until the largest pieces of butter are the size of peas. (Or pulse several times in a food processor.) Combine the cream and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the flour and and pour the cream mixture into the well. Mix with a fork until the dough is evenly moistened and just combined; it should look shaggy and still feel a little dry. Gently knead by hand five or six times to create a loose ball.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat it into an 8-inch square, 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment or silpat, cover with plastic and chill for 20 minutes in the refrigerator. Heat the oven to 425ºF. Remove the dough from refrigerator. Cut the dough into 8 even squares and spread them about 2 inches apart from each other on the baking sheet. Bake until the biscuits are medium golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes.

4. Meanwhile,  take a potato masher and smash the strawberries just a little to get more juice out of them. If you're using whipped cream, whip the cream, adding a drop or two of vanilla and a teaspoon of sugar.

5. Cut each biscuit in half, top with strawberries and serve with a generous dollop of either whipped cream or ice cream.

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2 comments:

Kristy Lynn said...

god! i love how fresh, happy strawberries look! So precious and fragile and rich and delectable.

strawb shortcake is the bee's knees.

Texanthropology said...

Uh oh, I need this real bad.