Strawberry Shortcake With A Twist

The Gourmet Review

Fresh strawberries, shortcake biscuits and whipped cream. Three ingredients. What could be simpler?

Try my “secret” twist, just before serving. It’s been passed down through generations in my family. Combine with Deb’s homemade shortcake recipe from her fabulous blog, Smitten Kitchen.  Now you have a perfect dessert.

Before sharing my foolproof tip, you must promise not to count calories. I really don’t want to have one of those “I really shouldn’t be eating this – too many calories” discussions.”  Ready?

 

SMITTEN KITCHEN (Deb’s) STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE

Adapted from Claudia Fleming and Russ Parsons

Update: Weights have been added! Er, or at least the ones I jotted down.

SERVES 6

INGREDIENTS

1 2/3 cups (224 grams) all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tablespoons (50 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon (20 grams) baking powder
2 hard-boiled egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (84 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 teaspoons lemon or orange zest (optional)
2/3 cup (168 grams) plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Shortcake Assembly

1/2 pound strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered
2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup whipping cream, beaten to soft peaks

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, egg yolks, and salt. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and zest, if using, and pulse until the flour resembles coarse meal. Add 2/3 cup of cream and pulse until the dough comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gather into a shaggy mass. Knead a couple times to make it into a cohesive mass and then pat it into a rough circle about 6 to 7 inches in diameter, and 3/4 to 1-inch thick.

Using a sharp knife, cut the circle into 6 wedges and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Alternately, you can use a cookie cutter to make shapes of your choice. Chill for 20 minutes (and up to 2 hours).

Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush the tops of the shortcakes very lightly with heavy cream and sprinkle lightly with the coarse sugar. Bake until risen and golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Turn the pan around halfway through to ensure even cooking.

While the shortcakes are baking, toss the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice together in a bowl. Let stand several minutes. (If the strawberries are extremely firm, do this 30 minutes in advance.)

SECRET TWIST

Just before assembling, slice each baked shortcake into three pieces. Butter each slice lightly (including bottom of shortcake top) and put on a cookie sheet. Place under the oven broiler until golden brown and slightly crisp.

To assemble, place the base shortcake slice on a plate, cover with strawberries and whipped cream. Do the same with the middle shortcake. Finally, and ever so gently, place the top piece of the shortcake. Finish with more strawberries and whipped cream. Cross your fingers it doesn’t topple over!

Or, if you prefer a traditional shortcake, take Deb’s advice and split the shortcakes in half horizontally and set the tops aside. Place the bottoms on dessert plates and heap strawberries over them. Spoon whipped cream generously over the strawberries and replace the shortcake tops. Serve immediately with any remaining whipped cream on the side.

SHORTCUTS IF YOU MUST

If pressed for time, you can pick up biscuits at the bakery or some grocery stores, but don’t EVER get those spongy things that try to mask for biscuits. Personally, Deb’s biscuits do it for me and are worth the extra effort. Also, homemade whipped cream takes so little time, that I suggest you make your own, but you can also buy whipped cream in a bind.

Check out  Smitten Kitchen blog  and see Deb’s step by step photos for her strawberry shortcake . You will love it!

– The Gourmet Review

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