Strawberries, grown right here in California, are already appearing at the market. They come from Oxnard and Ventura, just north of Los Angeles, where the weather is mild and Spring literally comes on the heels of Christmas. So I couldn’t resist an early batch of a summertime favorite: strawberry shortcake. What’s better than fresh strawberries layered between homemade buttery biscuits and topped with whipped cream?
And while I was at it, I thought this would be a good little recipe to film for my video archive. It’s a pretty simple recipe to demonstrate: we slice and prepare the strawberries, roll out the biscuits, and assemble these little masterpieces in no time. But wait! There’s a surprise moment. I won’t tell you what it is, you’ll have to click the video and watch for yourselves. I hope it gives you a chuckle. And if you learn one thing about me, I hope it’s that I try to take things in stride.
Summery Strawberry Shortcake
Prepare the strawberries and whipped cream:
2 pints fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced lengthwise
2/3 cup granulated sugar (divided)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup heavy cream
Combine the sliced strawberries, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, and lemon juice in a bowl. Toss gently and set aside.
Meanwhile in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or with a handheld mixer,) beat the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar with the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Cover and refrigerate while you prepare the biscuits.
Prepare the shortcake biscuits:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tbsp) cold, unsalted butter (cut into small chunks)
3/4 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Whisk the dry ingredients in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or two knives until the butter is the size of small peas. Add the cream and incorporate using a wooden spoon until the dough is thoroughly moistened, but not over-worked. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured, nonstick surface (such as a silicone baking mat or granite counter) and roll into a 1/2-inch-thick disk with a floured rolling pin. Cut the dough into three-inch rounds using a cookie cutter, drinking cup, or empty tin can, gently rolling and re-rolling the dough as necessary. (You should have six to eight biscuits, depending on the size of the cutter and the thickness of the dough.) Transfer the rounds to a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool.
Assemble the shortcakes:
Cut each cooled biscuit in half horizontally. Place the bottom half on a plate and spoon the strawberries and whipped cream over it. Place the top half of the biscuit on top of the berries and whipped cream. Serve immediately.