There are great strawberries available in our local grocery stores; we thought it was time to bake up some Classic Shortcake. Sure, we could spread strawberries across some angel food cake or white cake but we like a not-so-sweet version made with shortcake.
Shortcake is made like biscuits–though a little richer and sweeter. Topped with lightly sweetened strawberries and crowned with barely-sweetened whipped cream to which plenty of vanilla has been added, this makes the perfect way to enjoy spring strawberries.
Here’s the recipe for Classic Shortcake:
2 cups pastry or unbleached all purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup cold butter cut in pieces
2 large eggs whisked with 3 tablespoons of cold milk added
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a pastry knife or two sharp knives. Keep cutting until the mixture looks like coarse meal.
Add the egg and milk mixture. Stir until the dry ingredients are moistened but not smooth. Turn the dough onto a lightly-floured counter and roll or pat the dough to a 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into 3-inch circles or squares and place on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the tops begin to turn brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Notes for success:
• Like biscuits, working the dough too much will leave the product tough, not melt-in-your-mouth tender.
• We prefer to just sprinkle a little sugar on our strawberries after they are sliced. The juice will dissolve the sugar to form a light syrup.
• For each cup of whipping cream, we add 1 teaspoon of good quality vanilla after the cream is whipped.