Tender Shortcakes

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I just really didn’t know if it was something I would really enjoy and want to make again, but I have to admit, they are damn good, and not just with strawberries.

Here’s what you’ll need:

FOR THE BISCUITS:

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream

FOR THE FILLING:

Berries (about 1/2 cup per shortcake), hulled and slice if using strawberries
Sugar
Lightly sweetened softly whipped cream (I don’t care for whipped cream, so I didn’t make it)

 

Here’s what you’ll do:

GETTING READY:

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone mat.

TO MAKE THE BISCUITS:

Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together in a large bowl. Drop in the butter and, using your fingers, toss to coat the pieces of butter with flour. Quickly, working with your fingertips (my favorite method) or a pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly. You’ll have pea-size pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pieces in between – and that’s just right.

Pour the cream over the dry ingredients and toss and gently turn the ingredients with a fork until you’ve got a very soft dough. When the dough comes together, you’ll probably still have dry ingredients at the bottom of the bowl – just use a spatula or your hands to mix and knead the dough until it’s evenly blended. Don’t overdo it; it’s better to have a few dry spots than an overworked dough. Even with all the flour mixed in, the dough will be soft and sticky.

Spoon out about 1/3 cup of dough for each shortcake onto the baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches of space between the mounts of dough. Pat each mound down until is is between 3/4 and 1 inch high. (The shortcakes can be made to this point and frozen on the baking sheet, then wrapped airtight and kept in the freezer for up to 2 months. Bake with out defrosting – just add at least 5 more minutes to the oven time.)

If you have more dough, repeat, cooling the baking sheet first.

Bake for 15 – 18 minutes, rotating the sheet from front to back at the midway point, until the shortcakes are puffed and give just a bit when prodded. Pull the sheet from the oven and transfer the shortcakes to a cooling rack.

TO MAKE THE FILLING:

Put the berries in a bowl, sprinkle with sugar to taste and let sit for about 10 minutes, until they are juicy.

The cakes are tender and really pretty fragile, so go easy with them. Use a serrated knife and not much pressure to cut each cake in half horizontally. (Alternatively, you can use the tines of a fork to prick a ring around the middle of the shortcake, then use your fingers to gently pry the halves apart.) Put the bottom halves on plates, top with the berries – make sure to include some of the sweet juices – and spoon over some whipped cream. Put the tops on the shortcakes or lean them against the cream, my preference. If you decide to go for the open-faced shortcakes, you’ll get two textures – moist and moister.

I “knewked” one in the microwave and put a little butter and brown sugar and ate it like that, and it was almost just as yum.

I said a LITTLE butter, not a little brown sugar. So, these will be a staple during the summer, I think next time I’ll use an assortment of blueberries, raspberries, & strawberries.

-FromĀ Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Enjoy

-Raelynn

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Author: Raelynn

Born in small town South Dakota, raised in Sin City Las Vegas, now living in Mile High Denver...life is my adventure and I'm sharing it here, one project, one recipe, one day at a time.

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