Strawberry Shortcake – ChatterRecipe June 2013

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake © Elizabeth Cecil

You may recall a couple of years ago, we featured sandwiches, sinceGemini likes to “pair” things together, so here (especially for my Gemini friend) is a delicious dessert sandwich, also known as Strawberry Shortcake! Some of you may also remember I mentioned Massachusetts-based food photographer Elizabeth Cecil in last month’s newsletter, in my Palm Springs Photo Festival Report. During one of our conversations, Elizabeth and I somehow got to talking about Strawberry Shortcake (like you do), and I mentioned I was looking for a good recipe, so sure enough, she very kindly me sent this excellent recipe (slightly adapted) from one of her favorite cookbooks by pastry chef Claudia Fleming“The Last Course: The Desserts of Gramercy Tavern.”

Ingredients:

1 2/3 cups All Purpose Flour

3 1/2 tablespoons Sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons Baking Powder

1/8 teaspoon Salt

6 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, cold & cut into 1/2 inch cubes (use sea salted butter if you love salty sweets)

2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon Heavy Cream (if you’re feeling decadent) or Milk (if not!)

1 tablespoon Turbinado Sugar (can skip this to cut down on the sugar factor)

2 pints Strawberries, hulled and cut lengthwise

1-2 tablespoons Sugar (to your taste)

1 1/2 cups Whipping Cream

1 teaspoon Vanilla

1-2 tablespoons Sugar (depending on how sweet you like your whipped cream)

Recipe:

To make the Shortcake Biscuits, in the bowl of a food processor or electric mixer w/paddle attachment, combine the FlourSugarBaking Powder and Salt. Pulse to combine. Add the Butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. If you do not have an electric mixer or food processor and are doing this by hand, simply mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and then use your hands to work in the Butter. Next, add 2/3-cup Heavy Cream (or Milk) and pulse (or gently mix) just until the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and gently pat into a one-inch thick round. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut the chilled dough into roughly 9 biscuits, and brush the tops with the remaining Cream (or Milk) and sprinkle with a little Sugar (if desired). Place at least 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined pan and bake until golden, for about 20 minutes or so. Cool on a wire rack. In the meantime, prepare the Strawberries, hull them and cut lengthwise. Toss the Strawberries with a little Sugar(to taste) and let sit for 15-30 minutes until juicy.

To prepare the Whipped Cream, first chill the mixing bowl and electric mixer attachments in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Then beat the CreamVanilla and Sugar together on high until soft peaks form. And finally, to assemble the biscuits: Split the Shortcake Biscuits in half, fill with some of the Strawberries and top with Whipped Cream. Gently place the top half of each Biscuit on top of the Cream. Serve immediately.

*Now, if any of you are worried about your cholesterol levels, Elizabeth also gave us a non-dairy alternative for the Whipped Cream, from her friend Laura’s recipe using Coconut Milk instead:

Whipped Coconut Cream

1 13-oz can Unsweetened Coconut Milk (not lite), chilled overnight

1/4 cup Sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla

1 tablespoon Tapioca Starch

Open the chilled Coconut Milk. The contents will have separated into a thick layer of hard Coconut “Cream” and a translucent layer of liquid. Scoop out the hard cream only and transfer it into a mixing bowl. Discard the clear liquid or reserve for other use. Beat the hard Coconut Cream on high speed until it looks whipped, then add Vanilla, Sugar, and Tapioca Starch and continue beating for 5 minutes to aerate. It will look just like dairy whipped cream. Refrigerate until ready to use. Can also be made the day before.

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