Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

Strawberry ShortcakeGreat, another dessert.  I think this post will make three of the last five or six posts dessert oriented.  And that’s not really how I eat, at all, I promise 50% of my meals are not dessert!

But it’s strawberry season here, and what better time to try out a strawberry shortcake recipe than May in Ky?  Also, only a month or so ago I got to watch super Chef Johnny Iuzzini make his strawberry shortcake rendition, so I’ve been eager to give this a go for a while now.  In fact, these biscuits and whipped cream are based on the recipes he gave out at his demo, not quite 100% the same, but pretty darn close!

Food For Thought

As I’ve stated before, I am not gluten intolerant, and do not totally avoid all wheat based food items in my home.  Having said that, in general, I believe that the fewer bread items I eat, the better off I am.  But that’s different than never eating bread, or in this case, biscuits.

And since I was having company over when I made this strawberry shortcake recipe, I decided against using some alternative wheat or flour, such as Einkorn, and instead just went with all purpose flour.  All purpose flour has very little going for it, in the ways of health concerns, but it is pretty easy to work with and does bake up quite nicely.

Since I was going to lower my snooty standards for a night, and bake with all purpose flour, the least I could do is to make sure that my flour was organic, as well as being non-bleached and non-bromated.  Which is pretty easy to do, King Arthur Flour sells just such a product, which allows me to avoid the pesticides found in conventionally grown wheat as well as the carcinogens inherent in bleaching chemicals and bromated flour.

As far as the other ingredients are concerned, I feel as if I am starting to repeat myself quite a bit.  My butter is always organic, and when possible, produced from grass pastured cows, to ensure I am receiving the full nutritional benefit, and flavor, of one of my favorite fats!

IMG_0595My milk, buttermilk and cream always comes from a “local” dairy farm, and is close to raw and un-commercialized as I can get my hands on.  In my case, that means it comes from a farm around 100 miles away, from pasture raised cows that aren’t fed antibiotics and hormones.  Also, this particular farm does not homogenize the milk, and pasteurizes it at a low temperature.  While I would prefer to skip the pasteurization altogether, this seems to the best that I can find.

And then the strawberries…  this one is so easy, that it should not even have to be stated, but I will anyway.  The whole point of waiting until strawberry season to make strawberry shortcake is to make sure that I am using real, honest-to-goodness strawberries.  You know, the small kind, that are red all the way through?  Not the big hunks of fruit you can find year round in the grocery, that have a white interior.  We want locally grown, organic strawberries!

Ingredients

Biscuits:
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
6 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons melted butter for top of biscuits

Vanilla Whipped Cream:
2 cups heavy cream
4 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla paste

Strawberries

Directions

Shortcakes:

  1. Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of your food processor
  2. Pulse a few times to combine, then add the butter and pulse until the texture resembles fine crumbs
  3. Whisk the milk and egg together and pour through the feed tube of your food processor while pulsing until the dough comes together evenly
  4. Turn the dough out onto your counter, lightly floured, and form into a square, the wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour
  5. Set the oven rack in the top position and heat oven to 425, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat
  6. Remove the biscuit dough from the fridge and roll out into a square about 1/2 inch thick, and cut out shortcakes and place on tray
  7. Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with just a bit of coarse salt
  8. Bake until risen and nicely browned, around 5-10 minutes depending upon your oven, and definition of nicely browned

Vanilla Whipped Cream:

  1. Combine the cream, sugar and vanilla paste in the bowl of your stand mixer, or use a hand mixer
  2. Start your machine on low, and slowly turn up the speed until the cream is nicely mixed and just comes to stiff peaks

Strawberries:

  1. Rinse and hull your strawberries, and then cut into whatever size you consider bite sized

Strawberry Shortcake Recipe Assembly

  1. Serve when shortcakes come out of the oven, while still warm
  2. Cut shortcakes in half, place a few strawberries on top of one half
  3. Liberally spoon a large dollop of cream over the strawberries, and then add a few more berries on top of the cream
  4. And then add a bit more of whichever ingredient you love the most!
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