If you asked me to choose between blackberries, blueberries, tayberries, raspberries, or any other type of berry, it'd be virtually impossible for me to pick just one, for I simply love them all. But, perhaps because I grew up eating them as a child, when it comes to dessert cravings, I tend to gravitate toward sweets that feature strawberries.
One evening, I had an intense craving for strawberry shortcake. I'm not referring to the sponge cake variety with layers — although I love that, too — but rather the classic version with macerated berries and whipped cream sandwiched between flaky, buttery shortcake. Since this type is surprisingly unavailable in restaurants (I've only been able to locate it at the Cheesecake Factory and Whole Foods), I made my own. The end result? Well, it was far more satisfying than anything I could've bought. Find out for yourself.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar plus 1 tablespoon for glazing
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream, for glazing
- 1 dry quart fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced
- 3 tablespoons sugar (or more to taste)
- Whipped cream:
- 1 cup cold heavy cream
- 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon plus 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
- Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Make the shortcakes: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, 2 tablespoons of the sugar, and the zest. Using a pastry blender or a fork, cut in the butter until it resembles a coarse meal. Little by little, stir in heavy cream until the dough starts to hold together (you may use a bit more cream if need be).
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Pat together to form a rectangle 5 inches wide by 7-1/2 inches long that is about 1 inch thick. Cut the long side of the dough into thirds, and the width in half to form six 2-1/2-inch squares. Place the shortcakes 3 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet.
- Brush the tops of the shortcakes with the milk or heavy cream and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
- While the shortcakes are cooling, prepare the strawberries. In a medium bowl, combine the sliced strawberries with the sugar. Set aside for 20 to 30 minutes to macerate.
- Make the whipped cream: In the chilled bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat the heavy cream and vanilla on medium speed. In a slow steady stream, add the sugar and beat until the mixture forms medium-stiff peaks.
- Complete the shortcakes: Fork-split each shortcake in half horizontally. Place one half on each of six plates. Spoon 2 tablespoons of berries on each. Top each with a large dollop of whipped cream. Spoon more berries on top. Place each of the remaining halves on top of the berries. Garnish with more cream and berries, if desired. Add a sprig of mint for garnish if desired.
- Desserts, Cake
- North American