A cloud of whipped cream perched atop a sliced sweet biscuit and smothered with juicy strawberries, you can't get more elementally summery than strawberry shortcakes. The ultimate end to a summertime dairy meal that's uncomplicated to make and still impressive.Yum
There are two kinds of strawberry shortcakes, the type made with a sweet biscuit (or round scone, if that's your preferred nomenclature), and the kind made with a little sponge cake base. In the due course of time, we will clearly be making both, because no one should have to choose between strawberry shortcake types. For today, though, we're going with what I consider to be the iconic American strawberry shortcake (um, apart from the cartoon character, my fellow children of the eighties): the biscuit variety. This recipe is simplicity at its finest, just a few ingredients and you've got summertime magic. That being said, there are a few components here, meaning a few steps and a bit of patience required before you get to berry-juice-dripping, cloudlike-cream-atop-flaky biscuit enjoyment.
Prepping the strawberries
Before you embark on your strawberry shortcake adventure, you'll want to prep your berries and let them sit out and get juicy while you work. Just slice them up and sprinkle with a bit of sugar and lemon juice, and leave them like that on the counter.
Making the biscuit dough
Although you could certainly make them in a food processor, especially if you don't have a pastry blender, I prefer to make the biscuits for strawberry shortcake entirely by hand. These are simple, flaky biscuits made with butter, cream, and a bit of sugar. You start off by cutting the (cold) butter into little cubes, then blending them into the dry ingredients. Then the cream goes in and you mix until the flour is just moistened. If you have one, a dough whisk is great for this task, although you'll want to finish with your best kitchen tool of all: yep, your hands. Knead the dough a few times and that's that.
Shaping and baking the biscuits
Shaping biscuits can be slightly stressful, in that the first roll-out is superior to all subsequent re-rollings of the dough scraps. To make it less fraught, I suggest dumping out your biscuit dough directly onto a lined sheet pan and aiming to punch out 4-5 biscuits from the first go. You can gently move the first biscuits if you need to, but generally you can leave them undisturbed, meaning greater flakiness. Roll the scraps just once more if you can (I sometimes do a third roll with the last bit of dough because I'm constitutionally incapable of wasting any dough).
Assembling the strawberry shortcakes
While your biscuits are in the oven, whip the cream, adding in a bit of powdered sugar after it's formed soft peaks. Keep in the fridge until the biscuits cool, but only a little, because the warm-cold contrasts are great in strawberry shortcake. Split each finished biscuit in half, top with a generous mound of whipped cream, then a hefty sprinkle of berries along with the juices. Serve right away. These are best straight out of the oven.
Looking for more summery recipes?
- Watermelon with Feta and Mint (dairy) - the taste of Israeli summer, yes, together.
- Maryland "Crab" Cakes - Made with Kani (dairy) - are you up for this kosher challenge? The results are amazing.
- Israeli Biscuit and Cream Icebox Cake - the other Israeli taste of summer!
Strawberry Shortcakes (dairy)
- 2 cups fresh strawberries - sliced
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp cold butter - cubed
- 1 cup cream
- 1 cup cream
- 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375°F /190°C.
Prepare the berries:
- Slice the strawberries and sprinkle with sugar and lemon juice. Toss, then leave on the counter to macerate while you prepare the biscuits.
Make the biscuits:
- Mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt) in a mixing bowl.
- Cube the butter and cut it in using a pastry blender.
- Pour in the cream and mix until a shaggy mixture forms. Knead several times using your hands, in the bowl, until a dough forms.
- Turn out the dough onto a lined baking sheet. Pat the dough into a large rectangle about 1" / 2.5 cm thick. Using a round cutter about 2 ½" / 6 cm in diameter, cut out 4 biscuits. Reroll the dough and cut 2 more.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until lightly golden around the edges.
Beat the cream:
- Beat the cream until it holds stiff peaks. Beat in the powdered sugar.
- Slice a biscuit and mount some whipped cream in the center. Add some strawberries with their juices on top of the cream, and replace the top of the biscuit. Repeat for each serving.