To me summer means warm days, swimming pools, BBQs, 4th of July fireworks, and lots of wonderful, sweet fruit! Especially STRAWBERRIES!! With 4th of July coming upon us soon I have been looking through my recipes for some great ideas and I thought, what could be better than yummy Strawberry Shortcake! This was one of my favorite desserts growing up! My Mom made it every summer and I can still remember those sweet juicy strawberries!
Strawberry Shortcake is a very straightforward and simple dessert but there are always ways to modify it to your liking. You can make a sweet cream scone, a biscuit, angel food cake or even pound cake for your base. I chose to make a sweet cream scone, I like that it is solid enough to hold up to all of the berry juice without falling apart. I love the recipe from Joy of Baking (here) and followed their instructions almost exactly, with a couple of minor changes. In my instructions below I said to cut into rounds but if you are like me and you hate to waste any of the dough, feel free to form the dough into a big square and cut the scones into squares as well. That way there is no waste! :)
I used strawberries that were pretty juicy and sweet on their own and I just crushed about 1/3 of them with my potato masher before adding them to the rest of the sliced strawberries and sugar. If you let this sit out for a while, it will become syrupy and juicy and super yummy. Feel free to add any other berries that you like as well. I love to do a mix of raspberries and blueberries with the strawberries!
If you are super busy, like me, and you like to whip the cream ahead of time, use the tip that I got from Joy of Baking.... pour cream, sugar and vanilla into your mixing bowl together and place in refrigerator for 15-30 minutes before whipping. If you do this, your whipped cream will hold for a few hours in the refrigerator without deflating and becoming runny. I'm not sure why it works, but it does! Every time!!
I hope you all have a great summer filled with lots of BBQs, picnics, swim parties and LOTS of great food!!
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2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cold unsalted butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup cream, half and half, or milk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place rack in middle of oven. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. Whisk together the egg, cream and vanilla extract and add to the flour mixture, mixing just until the dough comes together. Do not over mix the dough.
Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times and then pat or roll the dough into a 7 inch (18 cm) round. With a 3 inch (7 cm) round cookie cutter, cut out rounds and place the scones on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the scones with a little cream and sprinkle the top with course sugar. Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of a scone comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack.
2 pounds fresh strawberries (cleaned and sliced)
1/4 cup - 1/3 cup granulated white sugar (or to taste)
Place strawberries in a bowl and sprinkle with the sugar. (The amount of sugar used will depend on how sweet the berries are.) I like to mash about 1/3 of the strawberries a bit and mix them in with the rest of the sliced strawberries. Set aside to macerate at room temperature for about 30 to 60 minutes.
1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chill the mixing bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes before whipping the cream. Place the cream, sugar and vanilla in the bowl and whip until stiff peaks form. The whipped cream can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for a few hours.
Cut the scones in half and place the bottom half of the scone (soft side up) on a dessert plate. Top with some of the strawberries and whipped cream. Place the top half of the scone on the strawberries. Top with whipped cream and a few more strawberries. If there is any juice from the strawberries, drizzle a little over the top of the scone. Serve immediately.