So unfortunately, I had to work on the Fourth of July (I know, isn’t that illegal or something?!) so my colleagues and I decided to have a potluck dinner so we could still celebrate the independence of our beloved country by eating delicious food. My contribution was dessert and I settled upon Strawberry Shortcakes as the way to go for this event. I pulled the recipe from the book Cooking by James Peterson. This book is great. Peterson not only provides recipes, but teaches the different techniques involved in making them. The book is chock full of instructive photographs to accompany the written directions and also lays out base recipes and then instructs on how to customize them. It is a great addition to any collection, so make sure to thumb through it the next time you are in a bookstore.

But anyway, back to the dessert…I really love strawberry shortcakes. It’s fancy enough to feel special, but still downhome, delicious and easy to make. It’s also nice and customizable. I made all the components and let folks make their own however they like them. Everyone at work on the 4th loved the dessert and declared it a success.

 

ingredients4 C Strawberries
2 C flour
1/4 C, Sugar, plus 2 tbsp for sprinkling
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 C butter, very cold, cubed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 C whole milk, plus extra for brushing (you can substitute in buttermilk for some of the milk, if desired)
Whipped Cream
2 C whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp sugar

unmixed

To make the biscuits: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt (or just combine in the bowl and give it a good whisking).

 

mixed

 

Add in the butter and rub the dry ingredients with the butter until you end up with a mixture that has roughly the texture of sand.

Add the beaten egg and milk to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

 

baking

 Turn the (sticky) dough out on to a very well floured work surface and portion out 11 to 12 portions to put on the baking sheet. Brush some milk on the tops of the uncooked biscuits and then sprinkle with 2 tbsps of sugar.

Cook the biscuits for approximately 20 minutes, rotating the tray half way through cooking.

 berries

 While the biscuits are cooking, wash, hull and slice the strawberries. If you want, you can toss the berries with a tbsp of sugar and let them sit for a while.

 

baked

Once the biscuits are finished cooking, let them cool for a while on a cooling rack. When you are ready to serve them, you can either slice them open with a knife or prick around the edges with a fork, then using the fork to crack open the biscuit. I prefer the fork method.

 Just before you are ready to serve the shortcakes, mix together the cream, 3 tbsps of sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla. Whip the sweetened cream until you get the desired density and firmness.

 final 4 with blueberries

Serve by cracking open the biscuits, spooning some berries on the bottom half, topped with a dollop of whipped cream. Then put the top half on, add some more whipped cream, if you are feeling that, and then garnish with a mint leaf. Feel free to add some blueberries if you’re feeling patriotic!

drink 1

As a bonus, I made a strawberry spritzer to go along with my strawberry shortcake. There will be a decent amount of juices at the bottom of the strawberry bowl. I poured some of that juice into a glass with some sparkling water, added a few strawberry slices, et voila! A refreshing and tasty beverage to accompany your dessert!

final 2

Strawberry Shortcake
 
Recipe By:
Ingredients
  • 4 C Strawberries
  • 2 C flour
  • ¼ C, Sugar, plus 2 tbsp for sprinkling
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ C butter, very cold, cubed
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ C whole milk, plus extra for brushing (you can substitute in buttermilk for some of the milk, if desired)
  • Whipped Cream
  • 2 C whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp sugar
Instructions
  1. To make the biscuits: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt (or just combine in the bowl and give it a good whisking).
  3. Add in the butter and rub the dry ingredients with the butter until you end up with a mixture that has roughly the texture of sand.
  4. Add the beaten egg and milk to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  5. Turn the (sticky) dough out on to a very well floured work surface and portion out 11 to 12 portions to put on the baking sheet. Brush some milk on the tops of the uncooked biscuits and then sprinkle with 2 tbsps of sugar.
  6. Cook the biscuits for approximately 20 minutes, rotating the tray half way through cooking.
  7. While the biscuits are cooking, wash, hull and slice the strawberries. If you want, you can toss the berries with a tbsp of sugar and let them sit for a while.
  8. Once the biscuits are finished cooking, let them cool for a while on a cooling rack. When you are ready to serve them, you can either slice them open with a knife or prick around the edges with a fork, then using the fork to crack open the biscuit.
  9. Just before you are ready to serve the shortcakes, mix together the cream, 3 tbsps of sugar and 1 tsp of vanilla. Whip the sweetened cream until you get the desired density and firmness.
  10. Serve by cracking open the biscuits, spooning some berries on the bottom half, topped with a dollop of whipped cream. Then put the top half on, add some more whipped cream, if you are feeling that, and then garnish with a mint leaf. Feel free to add some blueberries if you're feeling patriotic!