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Strawberry Shortcake.....One of the pleasures of summer!
There are many versions of Strawberry Shortcake, which is basically, sweetened berries, served over cake of some sort. Traditionally, it is shortcake, which is not very sweet at all. But many times, the recipe gets improvised and the strawberries are served over yellow cake, pound cake, angel food cake, or the likes. It's my preference to return to the traditional shortcake, to avoid sugar overload. When you choose quality ingredients, you won't miss the sugar.
I searched many recipes and some were complicated to mix up (although, I'm sure they were delicious, just not relevant for the very busy lives that most people have). I loved the simplicity of the King Arthur recipe found here. The only modifications I made to the recipe were to use kefir or buttermilk instead of dried buttermilk + milk (which was included in the "variation" part of the recipe), and less sugar with the berries.
Do please use real whipped cream on your desserts! We don't eat these desserts every day and when we do, let's choose a healthy fat (and organic if you can), and not an artificial fat (Cool Whip and other imitations). The whipped cream recipe is taken from the Pampered Chef Whipped Cream Maker, a handy kitchen gadget that does a phenomenal job of whipping up 1 cup of cream in mere seconds.
The shortcakes would make a nice breakfast treat or even served alongside a dinner with a little honey or fruit jam. Enjoy!
Makes 12 - 2 1/2" biscuits
Modified slightly from a recipe found at www.kingarthurflour.com
When choosing your ingredients, use home-grown, grass-fed and organic ingredients whenever possible.
3 ½ cups (420 grams) all-purpose unbleached flour
3 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1 cup kefir or buttermilk
1 large egg (60 grams)
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup (112 grams) cold butter (leave in refrigerator until needed)
Additional: 2 tsp cold kefir or buttermilk + 2 tsp sugar for brushing tops of the biscuits
Directions: (Refer to photo collage above for clarification)
Stir together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
Whisk together the wet ingredients, until blended. Set aside.
Remove the butter from the refrigerator and grate on a coarse shredder. Quickly add to the dry ingredients and stir together with a large fork. Mixture will be evenly crumbly, which is what you want to create a flaky, tender crumb.
Add the liquid ingredients all at once, stirring with the large fork until blended. Continue to mix the dough until it forms a ball. Knead the dough 3-4 times, so that the flour is now evenly distributed and the sides of the bowl are clean. Form into a somewhat smooth ball and place in a covered bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Roll on a lightly covered board or pastry mat to ½” – ¾” thick. Cut with a sharp-edged biscuit cutter, as this will help biscuits to have a better rise. Place on a baking stone and bake in preheated 425° oven for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool, then split open and fill with a generous spoonful of strawberries, and top with freshly whipped cream. You can also serve these open-faced and serve twice as many people, but you will want to use 2 quarts of strawberries and 2 cups heavy cream.
Strawberries: (Double these ingredients if shortcakes are served open-faced.)
1 quart hulled berries, sliced
3 TBSP sugar
Slice the berries, mash slightly, if desired. Sprinkle with sugar and gently stir. Allow to rest 30 minutes before spooning onto the shortcake.
1 cup heavy cream
1 TBSP powdered sugar or maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract
Using the Pampered Chef Whipped Cream Maker, “plunge” the mixture for about 15-30 plunges. It will thicken and whip immediately. Don’t overdo, or you will have butter! Top the berries with a generous dollop of whipped cream.
In the case of leftover whipped cream, remove the plunger and put the cap on the container; store in refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Desserts....super yummy, when made with real food!