strawberry shortcake
Dessert,  Family,  Food,  National Days

A Tribute to Strawberry Shortcake Day


Oops!

I missed National Strawberry Shortcake Day on June 14th!

This year I am feeling a little nostalgic — last year was a tough year. My first without both of my parents. So, I have been thinking about things that happened in my childhood. Ibe constant was dinner with my parents on Sundays. One thing that I looked forward to was strawberry shortcake with my parents.

My Strawberry Shortcake Journey…

We could have this lovely dessert in one of two ways. The most common way was at the Piccadilly Cafeteria. A frequent Sunday dinner spot for our family. My parents really enjoyed going there so they could get their veggies. I was a kid — who wanted veggies? So, in protest, I got the same meal every time we went — green beans, French fries, and chopped steak with a biscuit.

It was the closest I could get to a burger in my head.

But dessert? Dessert was worth the price of admission. Dessert was always strawberry shortcake with whipped cream. The restaurant used thick strawberry sugary syrup but I didn’t care. My parents were amazed that I stuck to the same menu for at least 10 years. I still get that strawberry shortcake whenever I occasionally find myself in a Piccadilly Cafeteria.

The other way was when my mother would macerate the strawberries herself on Saturday for dessert on Sunday during the summer. She bought the dessert shells in the produce department. When I saw those shells, I didn’t care about whatever dinner was going to be — dessert was on! And with ice cream!

I can’t carry over those memories to my kids because my son doesn’t like strawberries very much (I know right?} But I can share strawberry shortcake recipe with you right?

Today’s Strawberry Shortcake Recipe

There are many ways to prepare this delicious classic dessert. Depending on the region, the cake layers may vary between basic yellow cake, sponge cake, angel food cake, or the more traditional sweet biscuits, as in this recipe.

The crispy outer crust of these sweet biscuits holds up well to the whipped cream and the juicy, sweetened strawberries, while the soft, buttery insides absorb the strawberry juices without becoming too soggy.

The old biscuit-making adage of “Cold Ingredients, Hot Oven” is very true here. You’ll want to start with very cold ingredients and not handle them too much before popping the biscuits into a very hot 500°F oven to bake.

Some Technical Details

A large food processor or a pastry cutter is the recommended tool to prepare this dough. However, don’t let that stop you if you don’t have either of them. Simply chop the cold butter into small pieces or grate it on the largest holes of a box grater before placing in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.

The biscuits can be cut into 2¾” – 3” rounds using traditional biscuit cutters or an appropriately sized empty can with both ends cut off (in case the dough gets stuck inside). Be sure to dip the cutter or can rim into flour before pressing straight down into the dough. Don’t twist while cutting out the biscuits or they won’t rise appropriately.

An easier (and more rustic-looking) alternative is to shape the dough into an even rectangle and cut it into squares, as shown here. There is much less waste with this method and it limits the amount of time spent handling the dough – and warming it up – before baking.

Either way, be sure to place the biscuits close together while they bake so they can help each other rise higher while they’re in the oven.

Here’s to Childhood!

Tools Needed


strawberry shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake

This take on the classic dessert is closer to the traditional version. These sweet biscuits hold up well to the whipped cream and strawberries but they also absorb the juices of the strawberries without becoming soggy.
5 from 10 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Maceration Time (at least) 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

Macerated Strawberries Ingredients:

  • 4-5 c. fresh strawberries hulled and sliced
  • 2 T. granulated sugar
  • 2 T. orange liqueur or orange juice

Sweet Biscuit Ingredients:

  • 3 c. all-purpose flour
  • ¼ c. granulated sugar
  • 2 T. aluminum-free baking powder
  • ½ t. salt
  • c. cold buttermilk divided
  • ¾ c. very cold unsalted butter grated or chopped small
  • 2 T. turbinado sugar
  • extra virgin olive oil

Whipped Cream Ingredients:

  • 2 c. cold heavy cream
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 c. powdered sugar
  • Sprigs of fresh mint for garnish

Instructions
 

  • To prepare the strawberries, place the hulled strawberries top side down and slice from the tip to the base to create pointed slices, as shown. Combine the sliced strawberries, sugar, and orange liqueur or orange juice in a large glass bowl and gently toss to combine. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to overnight, stirring once or twice while they soak.
  • Place top oven rack in the center position and pre-heat oven to 500°F.
  • To prepare the dough, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl or food processor container. Stir or pulse briefly to combine.
  • Add the cold butter to the dry ingredients and cut it in with a pastry cutter or pulse with the food processor until the mixture is just combined and crumbly. (Or add the pre-grated or chopped frozen butter to the dry ingredients and work it into the dry ingredients with your fingers until evenly distributed).
  • Add one and a quarter cups cold buttermilk to the mixture and pulse or stir until just combined. Do not overwork the dough. It should be a little wet, but still a bit crumbly.
  • Spread a sheet of parchment paper onto a clean work surface and sprinkle with a little flour. Dump the dough onto the prepared surface and roll into a rectangle shape approximately 3/4” thick.
  • With a sharp chef’s knife, trim the edges of the dough to make an even rectangle. Reserve the scraps to make extra biscuits, if desired.
  • *Use caution while cutting to avoid tearing the parchment paper. If you have a gas oven, use aluminum foil instead of parchment paper. Line the baking sheet with another layer of foil in case the one you are working on tears while cutting.
  • Use the sharp knife to cut straight down into the dough to create 12 equal-sized squares, as shown. Lightly brush the remaining buttermilk on top with a pastry brush and sprinkle with the turbinado sugar.
  • Dust excess flour off the parchment paper (or aluminum foil) and transfer the sheet to a large, rimmed baking sheet. Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 14-15 minutes or just until the biscuits are golden brown. (Check after 10 minutes and adjust final cook time accordingly).
  • While the biscuits are baking, prepare the whipped cream by beating all 3 ingredients in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Cover and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  • Once golden brown, remove the biscuits from the oven and cool for several minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
  • Once cool, assemble the shortcakes by cutting the biscuits in half and applying a generous scoop of whipped cream to the bottom half of each biscuit. Top with some of the macerated strawberries. Add the top half of the biscuit and finish off each shortcake with another dollop of whipped cream and some more strawberries. Add a small sprig of fresh mint for garnish and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Keyword Dessert, shortcake, strawberry, whipped cream
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!



Loving Life — The Reboot!

Dominique

A Tribute to Strawberry Shortcake Day

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