June 30, 2011
I'm sorry if strawberry shortcake is totally cliche, but it's one of the rituals of summer that I couldn't let slip by. When strawberries are in season they are dazzling jewels to be scooped up in handfuls. Never mind the red stains, we eat as many as we can. Strawberry shortcake is a must make dessert when the berries are in season, even if it seems old fashioned, perhaps a bit out of style. I have never claimed to be trendy, I wear what I like until it's worn through. I really only pull strawberry shortcake out of the closet once a year, so I think it will be making appearances for years to come.
I've never been a fan very biscuit-y shortcake. Years ago, I found a recipe for something that is sweeter, more like a scone. I had been indifferent to strawberry shortcake, but this recipe, from an old Simple Meals magazine (by the publishers of long gone Organic Style), changed that to, Yes Please! Soft but sturdy and a little sweet, this little cake is just the right thing to top with ripe red berries and whipped cream.
I know the dazzling red berries have distracted you and you've forgotten that last week I brought you a recipe for a cake topped with berries and cream. With berries only in season for a short time, can you complain?
No complaints here.
For the Berries:
4 cups strawberries, rinsed, stems removed and sliced into thin rounds
4 tablespoons sugar (or more to taste)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
Combine the berries with the sugar and balsamic vinegar in a bowl. Let sit for at least 30 minutes or until the berries are very juicy.
For the cream:
2 cups heavy cream
3-4 tablespoons sugar
Whip the cream until it forms slightly stiff peaks. Mix in the sugar, adding more to taste if necessary.
For the cake:
3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 pound unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut the butter into small pieces. Mix with the flour and cut into smaller pieces using two knives, a pastry cutter or your fingers until the butter and flour form large crumbs. Pour in the buttermilk and gently mix until the butter and flour come together into a mass of dough. Chill the dough for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375'. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Shape it into a circle about 1 inch thick. Cut the dough into 8 even pieces. Place each piece on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 30-35 minutes until they are golden brown. Let cool completely before serving topped with strawberries and whipped cream. Serves 8.