Strawberry season can’t go by without my making at least one batch of strawberry shortcake. There’s just something magical about the perfect combination of sweet-ish biscuit, homemade cream and the natural deliciousness of strawberries at their peak. Over the years I’ve used a patchwork of recipes to pull together this dish. My favorite whipped cream guide from one book, my top shortcake recipe from another. This year, I thumbed through my Joy of Cooking and realized all the parts were there. So that is what follows, my telling of the Rombauers’ version of this spring classic.
Makes about a dozen shortcakes
- 3 pints strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (or less if your strawberries are sweet enough already)
- 12 sprigs of mint
- 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp. aluminum-free baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
- 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar or honey
- 6 Tbsp. chilled butter
- 3/4 cup half-and-half or buttermilk
Sweetened whipped cream
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar or 3 tsp. honey
- 3/4 tsp. vanilla
- Prepare strawberries. Add sugar. Refrigerate.
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a mixer. Cut in butter. Make a well in the center and add half-and-half or buttermilk.
- Stir just until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently and quickly, about 8 to 10 times. Roll out with a lightly floured rolling pin, to 3/4 inch thick. Cut into 3-inch rounds. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
- Bake until lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes. After baking, cool and split the biscuits with a fork.
- In a chilled bowl with chilled beaters, mix cream, sugar and vanilla on medium high until thickened. Watch carefully to avoid over-whipping to a consistency more like butter than whipped cream.
- Serve by placing an open shortcake on each plate. Top with a spoonful of strawberries, a dollop of cream and a sprig of mint.