June 5, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry shortcake . . . such yummy goodness!!  These are so delicious, it is hard to explain just how good they are.  :-)  Crunchy slightly sweet biscuit, sweet beautiful strawberries, and of course lovely vanilla whipped cream, in every bite.

Yes, this was another use for our 4 pounds of strawberries.  It didn't use a bunch of strawberries, since this recipe only made 2 servings, but I think it was definitely a good use of the strawberries. 

The shortcake pictured above is actually my second try.  The first batch I made didn't turn out right.  The butter melted,  ran all over the baking sheet and it ended up "frying" the bottom of the shortcakes.  So, I had to make a few changes to this recipe, I believe because of the altitude here in Colorado.  I decreased the butter from 4 tablespoons to 3 tablespoons, 4 was just too much liquid.  I also replaced 1 tablespoon of the all-purpose floor with cake flour.  Cake flour has cornstarch in it, so it helps absorb some of the excess liquid.  Finally I reduced the baking powder to 3/4 teaspoon, we don't need as much leavening agent since there is less air pressure here.  If you make this recipe it sea level, you shouldn't need to make any changes to it. 

Strawberry Shortcake

Shortcakes -
2/3 cup (3 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for the counter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon table salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
2 tablespoons half-and-half (I didn't have half-and-half, so I used buttermilk)
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

2 cups (10 ounces) fresh strawberries, hulled*
5 teaspoons sugar
1 recipe Whipped Cream (recipe below)

Shortcakes - Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 425 degrees.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Pulse the flour, 5 teaspoons of the sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a food processor until combined, about 3 pulses.  Sprinkle the butter pieces over the top and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about 15 pulses.  Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.  Whisk the half-and-half and whole egg together, then stir into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until large clumps form.

Turn the mixture out onto a well-floured counter.  Divide the dough into two even pieces, then, with well-floured hands, shape each into a 2 1/2 inch circle, about 1 inch thick.

Arrange the shortcakes on the prepared baking sheet.  Brush the tops with the egg white and sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon sugar.  Bake the shortcakes until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through baking.  Transfer the shortcakes to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes.  (The shortcakes can be cooled completely and stored in a zipper-lock bag at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.  Before serving, refresh in a 350 degree oven for 3 to 5 minutes, or 7 to 10 minutes if frozen.)

Fruit - Meanwhile, crush 3/4 cup of the strawberries with a potato masher in a medium bowl.  Slice the remaining 1 1/4 cups berries and fold them into the crushed berries along with the sugar.  Let the berry mixture sit at room temperature until the sugar has dissolved and the berries are juicy, about 10 minutes.

Split each shortcake and spoon the fruit over each bottom.  Dollop with the whipped cream and cap with the shortcake tops.  Serve.

Yield - 2 servings

*Fresh blueberries, raspberries, or halved blackberries can be substituted for some or all of the strawberries.  Do not substitute frozen fruit. 

Whipped Cream

1/3 cup heave cream, chilled
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until frothy, about 1 minute.  Increase the speed to high and continue to whip the cream to soft peaks, 1 to 3 minutes.

Yield - about 3/4 cup

Hat Tip - America's Test Kitchen 2009 Cooking for Two Special Issue

1 comment:

  1. That looks delicious! May I guess it was during the "week of many strawberries" you had recently?

    By the way, Mike continued to rave about the Snickers cookies you brought on Saturday (and sniffle once they were gone). Is that a recipe you'd ever be willing to share? I think my team would totally love them =)