You know what's the worst in the summer? Wishing for fall. I'm sort of tired of it being hot and muggy 24/7, leaving the smelly air conditioners on at all hours, wearing work-out clothes to avoid that sticky feeling, and never ever wearing make-up or blowing out my hair because I know I'll be a sweaty, runny, frizzy mess in 5 minutes.
I've been so ho-hum about the season and not being near a real beach that I've sort of checked out, especially when it comes to food. But I think these strawberry shortcakes were just the thing to pull me out of my rut or at least tide me over until pumpkin season. The strawberries at the store were the most beautiful I've seen them all season, and I couldn't think of anything that could be better than strawberry shortcake except just eating them out of the carton, which I definitely did.
Who knows, maybe there's even a beach trip in store for me before the season is up? (And I'm counting the days). Sorry to be such a bummer, I'll be back to my cheery self once the temperature is a tad bit cooler and I can conquer this 5 pounds I've been struggling to lose for 2 months now!
Yield: 6 servings
For the strawberries:
1 lb. (about 4 cups) fresh hulled strawberries
2 tbl+ sugar
For the shortcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup (8 tbl) salted butter, cold and cut into 1/2" cubes
1/4 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg
For the whipped cream:
2 cups heavy cream
2 tbl sugar
First, assemble the strawberries: Add 1/3 of the strawberries to a bowl and mash into a pulp using a potato masher, fork, or your fingers. Slice the remaining strawberries into 1/4 inch slices and toss in the bowl with the sugar. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 2 hours, then refrigerate until ready to use.
Meanwhile, make the biscuits: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a large heavy baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the cold cubed butter and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to cut in the butter; the mixture should resemble coarse cornmeal when finished.
Measure the heavy cream, buttermilk, and egg into one cup and whisk together. Add to the dry ingredients, using a fork to gently moisten all the flour until the dough just begins to come together. Knead once or twice until the dough comes together.
Empty the dough onto a lightly floured cutting board and roll or pat out into a 3/4" circle. Using a 2 1/4" round cutter make as many biscuits as will fit and place them on the baking sheet. Gather the scraps and continue cutting until you have 6 biscuits. Arrange the biscuits on the baking sheet, brush with cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown all over. Cool.
Just before serving, make the whipped cream: Beat together the cream and sugar in a large metal bowl until soft peaks form.
Assemble the shortcakes by slicing a biscuit in half and scooping strawberries and juice on top. Replace the other half of the biscuit and top with whipped cream.
adapted and re-written from Fine Cooking magazine.