Monday, June 15, 2009

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake


It's June and local strawberries are in season. I'm very lucky to live where I do, and have access to great produce and food. This past weekend we went to pick hood strawberries. Hood (as in Mt Hood) strawberries can be arguably some of the best strawberries to be found. We picked a whole flat, some of which I'll turn into jam and the rest will make for a great week of snacks! Later the same night I decided to make some strawberry shortcakes to highlight the beautiful strawberries we picked that morning. I didn't necessarily have a great go to shortcake recipe so I found one on King Arthur Flour. I think I was still inspired from my previous post experience! I made a few adaptions but it turned out to be a great biscuit for shortcake. I had perfect strawberries so there was very little need for sugar, but I did need some juice so I crushed a few strawberries and quartered the rest. I also included a few squirts of agave syrup and then topped it with some freshly whipped, lightly sweetened, organic heavy whipping cream

Shortcakes (from King Arthur Flour)
3 1/2 cups (14 7/8 oz) all purpose flour or pastry flour if you have it (I used half whole wheat pastry flour)
1 tsp salt
1 TBS baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 TBS sugar
4 oz (1 stick) cold butter cut into small pieces or thin slices
2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F. You want the butter, buttermilk and egg as cold as possible. This will help to keep the biscuit a tender. Measure all the dry ingredients into a bowl and add the cut up butter. Break up the butter with your fingers or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles cornmeal (you can also pulse this in a food processor). In a separate bowl mix the buttermilk, egg and vanilla and pour into the dry ingredients and mix with your hands or a spatula just until the ingredients are barely mixed, make sure not to over mix! The batter will be fairly soft so make sure you turn it out on a floured surface to roll and cut out the biscuits. I took a bit of a shortcut and used a large scoop and just scooped it onto a sheet pan. Place the biscuits on a greased or parchment lined sheet pan. I pressed them down with my hand slightly (dampened my hand with water so it wouldn't stick)- because I had scooped them, this wouldn't be necessary if they were rolled out. I finished them off with a dusting of raw coarse sugar before putting the biscuits into the oven. They baked for about 15-20 minutes. I pulled them out when I saw them lightly brown and the felt firm in the middle. These also made great biscuits for breakfast the next day, gently rewarmed!

Strawberries

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