Sweet-Tooth Saturday: Strawberry Shortcakes

Can there possibly be a dessert that says fresh strawberry-love more than an individual strawberry shortcake?!  Strawberry Shortcake is irresistable to me.  I adore the combination of fresh berries, still warm-buttered and sweet-shortcake and whipped cream.  It’s light and fresh and seems like it’s almost good for you.  Hmmmm….well, the strawberries are. 

 Strawberries are so luscious right now.  If you don’t already have them, go get some and make strawberry shortcake today.  Do it for yourself and those nostalgic summers of years gone by.  Remember?  The play outside all day-dad grilling hotdogs and burgers-potato salad-koolaid dinner…and then mom brings out the shortcakes days?  Yup.  According to my bible of cookbooks, Better Homes and Gardens, here’s what you’ll need to create 6 beautiful and yummy individual shortcakes:

  • 3-4 cups sliced, sugared strawberries
  • lemon zest
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 TBSP sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • whipped cream

Preheat oven to 450F.

Clean and slice strawberries.  Place them in a bowl, add zest of one lemon and sprinkle with sugar.  I never measure the sugar, but I’m thinking I use about 1/4 cup.  Stir to combine and set aside to “macerate” until shortcakes come out of the oven.  I really like the freshness lemon zest adds to the strawberries, but if you don’t have a lemon, they’re still yummy without it.

Sift together: flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.

Cut butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  (Use a fork or a pastry cutter for this.)

Mix beaten egg and milk.  Add all at once to dry mixture and stir just enough to moisten. 

Knead gently on a floured surface for 30 seconds.

Pat or roll to 1/2 inch thickness.  Cut 6 biscuits with a floured 2 1/2 inch cutter.  I like this one because it makes the shorcakes look like flowers.  (So adorable!)  It’s part of a set of nesting cutters of various shapes and patterns.  Re-roll the scraps as needed.  The last biscuit usually doesn’t turn out as nicely, but will still be tasty!

Bake on an ungreased baking sheet about 10 minutes, or until puffed and golden.  (You can spot the last two biscuits cut in the back row–not as pretty, but when covered with strawberries and whipped cream, no one else will know!)

Split and butter shortcakes while warm.  Fill and top with strawberries and whipped cream.  Serve and enjoy immediately!

Pretty, right?  Especially served on this cute little glass plate that looks like a lettuce leaf, handed down by my mom-in-law.  I like to use special dishes like this, even when it’s just us.  Why save them for company only?  Treat yourself to strawberry shortcake before strawberry season is over!  And then….pick any fresh fruit and make shortcakes!  Yummy!  I can hardly wait for Palisade Peaches!

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