I had a bit of a mini heart attack a few weekends ago – I had plans to go to a strawberry farm to pick up a bunch of local strawberries to freeze and to use in some recipes. Well I go to their website for directions – and they are already done picking for the season! Eeek – my heart seriously stopped and I immediately went into search mode online. Luckily I found another farm that wasn’t too far away and they still had berries available. So I immediately got in my car and drove there – expecting to buy about 6 quarts. I get there and they are selling flats (each with 8 quarts) for buy one get one free – since I can’t pass up a deal – I had to get it. So that’s how I ended up with 16 quarts of strawberries.
Let me just say this – 16 quarts is a LOT of strawberries. The hard thing is that you need to process them fairly quickly before they get mushy and moldy. It almost doesn’t need to be said – but I have lots of strawberry recipes to share coming up soon.
I knew that the first thing I wanted to make though was basic strawberry shortcakes. I’ve been craving these since last year when I made them (but my photos got lost so I never shared them here).
You have to have the perfect biscuit that soaks up the juices and compliments the sweet strawberries. This recipe is it! I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Eating these made me reminiscent of 5 years ago when we went to Coney Island to help our friends selling Strawberry shortcakes at their booth there. Good times!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
- 5 Tbsp. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 cubes
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. half-and-half
- 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
- 6 cups strawberries, hulled
- 4 Tbsp. sugar
- whipped cream (store-bought or homemade)
1. For the fruit: Crush 2 cups of strawberries with a potato masher. Slice remaining berries and stir into crushed berries along with 4 Tbsp. sugar. Set aside.
2. For the shortcakes: Adjust oven rack to middle-lower position and heat until 425 degrees F.
3. In food processor, pulse flour, 3 Tbsp. sugar, baking powder and salt to combine. Scatter butter over and process until mixture resembles coarse meal – about fifteen 1-second pulses. Transfer to a medium bowl.
4. Mix beaten egg with half and half. Pour into flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until large clumps form. Turn onto floured work surface and lightly knead until it comes together.
5. Pat dough into 9 by 6 inch rectangle about 3/4 inch thick. Flour a 2 3/4 inch biscuit cutter and cut out into 6 dough rounds. Pull the scraps together to make 2 or 3 more shortcakes.
6. Place 1 inch apart on a baking sheet, brush tops with beaten egg white and sprinkle with remaining 2 Tbsp. sugar.
7. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Cook on wire rack until warm, about 10 minutes.
8. When shortcakes are cool, split in half and portion fruit on top and dollop with whipped cream.
Source: Cook’s Illustrated