Thursday, August 5, 2010

Double Take: Party Perfect Strawberry Shortcakes

Mel has been interested in this recipe since we got this All new Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook. Biscuits, strawberries, and sweetened whipped could it be less than tasty?!? The goal was to wait until strawberries were in season. Alas - the complexity of transcontinental cooking! In NC, strawberries come into season between May and June. The season is later in Germany. Fortunately, in NC we have access to at least some California strawberries for an extended range of time so all we lacked as a good excuse to make them. In my case, they were prepared as a going away treat for my friend Andrea.

How to:

Core and quarter 1 lb of strawberries into a bowl. Add 1/4 c. of sugar and allow to sit while the rest is being prepared (at least 1 hour).

Shortcakes :
1) Ultimate Southern Living (drastically modified to enable formation of a biscuit like pastry)
3 c. all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 c. butter (chopped into 1/2 inch pieces)
1 egg
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine flour, baking powder and sugar and mix well. Add butter and blend with a pastry cutter or fork until the texture of small peas is achieved. Mix 1 egg, sour cream and vanilla in a separate bowl. Add slowly to mixture while stirring to moisten all. The texture will be like that of drop biscuits. Drop your globs of dough onto a silpat or greased cookie sheet. Bake at 425 F for about 20 minutes.

2) White Lily Shortcakes ( I wanted to make sure there were enough)
(This recipe is from the listing on the back of the White Lily Self Rising flour bag...Go White Lily!)

2 c. White Lily Self rising flour
1/4 c. plus 2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
3/4 c. plus 2 Tbsp of heavy whipping cream

Cut up butter into 1/2 inch segments. Using a pastry cutter or fork, work 1/4 c. sugar into the the butter. Add flour and work mixture until it has the texture of small peas. Slowly add 3/4 c. of heavy whipping cream while stirring until the dough is evenly moistened. (This forms a pretty perfect dough. I was pleased.) Roll them out and cut into circles using a round 3" cutter or your favorite cup. Bake at 425 F for 18-20 minutes or until tops become golden brown.

Whipping Cream
Pour 1 c. of heavy cream into a bowl and beat for 2-4 minutes until it begins to thicken. Add 2 Tbsp of sugar (4 if you like it sweeter). Continue beating until it forms stiff peaks. (Total time should be less than 10 minutes and frankly I think it only took about 4 for me. Time will vary based on beating speed.)

Slice a biscuit in half. Place about 1 Tbsp of strawberry jam on the bottom. Cover with sweetened berries and a generous amount of whipped cream. Top with the lid of the biscuit. Enjoy.

Reviews: White Lily shortcakes were preferred over the USL biscuits. I liked the addition of vanilla though so I would be tempted to add a little vanilla if I ever entertained the thought of making shortcakes again. It seemed that the jam added nothing to the dessert. It wasn't the jams fault, its delicious. The other flavors just didn't allow the jam to have more than a side role, so I'd ditch the addition of jam in the future. I would sweeten the whipped cream a little more, but that's a matter of taste. The berries were good but a little firmer than I expected after 3 hrs of sitting. I think if you have a firmer berry, adding some extra sugar (or as Mel said, maybe heating a little over the stove), could increase the moisture. All the eaters seemed pleased. I think I prefer just berries and cream though.

Note: Due to an A/C malfunction, the shortcakes were baked at an alternate location. An oven temp malfunction, resulted in the bases of the shortcakes being overdone. Solution: Wait until cool (or the shortcakes will crumble) and slice off the bottoms. Use 2 biscuit portions, one for the base and top and it will all be ok.

Don't forget to check out Mel's view at Fabulously Fun Food.

1 comment:

  1. I checked the cookbook, and you were right, the cookbook tells you to add the mint to the strawberries and the one online says add it to the jam!