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Classic Strawberry Shortcakes

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Serves nine.

For the biscuits:
  • 13-1/2 oz. (about 3 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbs. granulated sugar; plus about 3 Tbs. for sprinkling
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. table salt
  • 6 oz. (12 Tbs.) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream; plus about 3 Tbs. for brushing
  • 1-1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
For the strawberries:
  • 5 cups 1/8-inch-thick strawberry slices (from about 3 pints)
  • 1 to 3 Tbs. granulated sugar, depending on the sweetness of the berries
For the whipped cream:
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Make the biscuits:

Line a heavy baking sheet with parchment. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Toss with a fork to combine. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or a fork until the largest pieces of butter are the size of peas. Combine the cream and vanilla in a liquid measure. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour the cream mixture into the well. Mix with a fork until the dough is evenly moistened and just combined; it should look shaggy and still feel a little dry. Gently knead by hand five or six times to pick up any dry ingredients remaining in the bottom of the bowl and to create a loose ball.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat it into an 8-inch square, 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Transfer the dough to the parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 425°F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and trim about 1/4 inch from each side to create a neat, sharp edge (a bench knife or a pastry scraper works well, or use a large chef’s knife, being sure to cut straight down). Cut the dough into 9 even squares (about 2-1/2 inches square) and spread them about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. With a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, brush each biscuit with a thin layer of cream and sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake until the biscuits are medium golden brown on top and the bottoms are golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes.

Prepare the berries:

Toss the berries with 1 Tbs. sugar and taste. If they’re still tart, sprinkle with another 1 to 2 Tbs. sugar. Let sit at room temperature until the sugar dissolves and the berries begin to release their juices, at least 30 minutes but no more than 3 hours.

Classic Strawberry Shortcakes Recipe
Whip the cream:

Pour the cream into a cold mixing bowl and beat with a hand mixer until it begins to thicken. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and, using a whisk, continue to beat by hand until the cream is softly whipped or until the whisk leaves distinct marks in the cream; it should be soft and billowy but still hold its shape.

Classic Strawberry Shortcakes Recipe
Assemble the shortcakes:

While the biscuits are still warm, split them in half horizontally with a serrated knife. For each serving, set the bottom half of a biscuit on a plate. Scoop about 1/2 cup of the berries and their juices over the biscuit. Add a generous dollop of whipped cream and cover with the top half of the biscuit. Top with a few berries and a small dollop of cream.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 640; Fat (g): 46; Fat Calories (kcal): 410; Saturated Fat (g): 28; Protein (g): 7; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 13; Carbohydrates (g): 52; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 470; Cholesterol (mg): 150; Fiber (g): 3;

Photo: Scott Phillips

The recipe is easy and turns out every time...It is a hit every time I serve it. Try adding a raspberry liqueur to the strawberries....mmmm..Soooo good.

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