Strawberry shortcake

Strawberry shortcake is not the cute cartoon character that we all love.  Strawberry Shortcake is an English classic dish made from a sweet biscuit, cut in half and filled with strawberries and fresh cream. In America we have converted it to a sponge cake with strawberries and cream. Early colonists made it with mini pie crusts. Any way you want to make it this is a great kick off for the summer season. Every body loves strawberries, cake and cream.

Now get started on that dough.

Put flour, sugar, baking powder. baking soda and salt in bowl. Add butter, cut with pastry blender until it is course crumbs. Add buttermilk and stir just enough to incorporate most of the flour, a little unmixed flour is fine. Knead a couple of times to bring it all together.

Turn out onto a floured counter, press out evenly to 1 1/2 inch thick, cut with biscuit cutter or glass as I have done. Fun shapes can also be cut, like hearts or stars. You want this to be thick since it will be cut in half. Put on cookie sheet and bake 15 minutes at 350º.

Meanwhile, cut up strawberries, put in a medium bowl. Cover with sugar and mix. After about 20 minutes a sweet juice will develop. This is usually all that I put on my strawberry shortcake. If you want a thicker glaze 1 tablespoon clear jell can be added or warmed jam can be used, and ice cream topping. The prepackaged glazes that you can buy taste nasty in my opinion, they have a strong chemical taste, why would you ruin this fresh made dish with artificial flavors and colors.

Once the biscuits have cooled cut in half, place bottom half on plate, place a dollop of cream on biscuit then add strawberries. Place the biscuit top on the strawberries, then add more strawberries and top it off with more cream. For a garnish slice a strawberry part way through with leaves attached, fan out the strawberry,  then drizzle some of the juice around for garnish.

Alternate method, press dough in a baking dish. Bake 15-20 minutes. When cool cut in desired shapes and prepare as described above. The advantage of this method is you have sharp lines, whereas if you bake the shapes they may lose some of their shape.

Alternate methods for creating easy shortcake, use angel food cake bought in the bakery, make your own cake using a boxed cake mix, and the ultimate easy cheater is to use Twinkies cut in half and topped with strawberries. Any way you decide to make it strawberry shortcake is delicious.

Ingredients
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ¾ cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 8 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • ¼ cup white sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In large mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, ⅓ cup white sugar, and salt.
  3. Add butter to flour mix.
  4. Cut in cold butter with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  5. Stir in buttermilk until the flour mixture is just moistened.
  6. Gently fold over a few times to knead in the excess flour. Do not over mix.
  7. Press on floured board to about 1 ½ inch thick. Flatten.
  8. Cut with biscuit cutter.
  9. Place 1 inch apart on baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, 15 minutes, do not overcook they should not be brown. Let cool.
  11. Meanwhile, mix together the sliced strawberries with ¼ cup white sugar in a bowl. Let the berries rest until juices develop, about 30 minutes.
  12. Cut the biscuits in half, layer with strawberries, whipped cream. Place the top of biscuit on cream then add strawberries and cream. Serve.
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