Food & Drink Magazine

Mom's Strawberry Shortcake

By Mariealicerayner @MarieRynr
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I think one of my favorite seasons of the year is Strawberry Season. It has been ever so . . . as a child I would walk along the railroad tracks which ran along the back edge of our yard and pick the wild strawberries which grew abundantly in little clusters around the black tarred wooden ties . . . summer memories.  Hot sun, pink stained fingers, sweet berries, accompanied with the faint whiff of tar . . .
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If I hadn't been a glutton, when I was done I would have the bottom of a plastic margarine tub filled . . . just enough for a small bowl of wild berries, dusted with sugar and served with some of the top cream from the milk . . .
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Of course the highlight of strawberry season was my mother's strawberry shortcake!  Home baked biscuits . . . but not just any biscuits . . . my mother's cream biscuits.  Oh so flaky and buttery.  They positively melt in your mouth.  Seriously.
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These are split and buttered with sweet unsalted butter.  Why not?  In for a penny in for a pound, but that is not all . . . no, that is not all . . .
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Next comes a layer of sliced, crushed and sweetened summer berries, ladled over those crisp, flaky and buttery biscuits . . . and yes . . . then comes even more delectability . . . softly whipped cream, sweetened or not as you prefer.  Or really go whole hot and use clotted cream . . . and why not?
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It's summertime after all!!  And the strawberries are ripe and calling your name!  It only happens for a few short weeks.  Indulge yourself.   I promise not to tell . . . it can be our little secret . . . pinkie swear.
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*Mom's Strawberry Shortcake*Makes 6 to 8 servingsPrintable Recipe
This is a must during Strawberry Season.  It has ever been so since my very earliest memory.   Crisp cream biscuits filled with softly whipped cream and fresh berries.For the biscuits:2 cups plain flour1 tsp salt1 TBS baking powder2 tsp sugar1 - 1 1/2 cups heavy cream6 TBS butter, meltedcoarse sugar to dust
For the filling:4 heaped cups fresh strawberries(a generous quart)caster sugar to taste (fine fruit sugar)softened unsalted butter1 1/2 cups heavy cream
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Make the biscuits early in the day. Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F/ gas mark 7.  Have ready a paper lined baking sheet. 
Whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar together in a bowl.   Start slowly pouring in the cream, adding only 1 cup at first, stirring constantly.  Gather the dough together; when it holds together and feels tender, it is ready to knead.  If the dough appears to be too shaggy and the pieces are dry and wanting to fall away, then slowly add enough additional cream until you have a dough that holds together.  Tip out onto a floured board and knead the dough for 1 minute.  Gently pat the dough into a square which is half an inch thick throughout.  Cut into 12 squares. 
Dip the squares into the melted butter, coating all sides and place them onto the prepared baking sheet.  Sprinkle with coarse sugar.   Bake for 15 minutes until they are golden.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely. 
Slice the berries, reserving a few to decorate the tops of the shortcakes, if desired.  Add sugar to taste.   Split the biscuits, placing the bottom halves into each of 6 to 8 cut glass dessert bowls.  Spread with softened butter.  Top each with a generous spoonful of berries, a dollop of cream and the top halves of the biscuits. Serve immediately and pass more cream at the table. 
Note - if you have it by all means use clotted cream instead of whipped cream for the finished dessert.  It's turns something which is already fabulous into something which is pure bliss!  Mom would approve.

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