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
Lightly sweetened softly whipped cream (I don’t care for whipped cream, so I didn’t make it)
Here’s what you’ll do:
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.
-From Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan