Strawberry Shortcakes

As promised, friends, here is another blog update.  I apologize for the lapse in posting.  Once again, the demands of grad school have eaten up all my time.  I have, however, had enough time to draw you this fantastic graphic to illustrate that point.

Anyhoo, I have been craving my most favorite summer dessert: strawberry shortcake.  After perusing my foodgawker feed for recipes, I settled on this one from food republik.  The lemony biscuits were what intrigued me.  My previous exposure (considerable though it has been) has been limited to the standard buttermilk biscuit or the buttery pound cake as the canvas upon which the strawberry deliciousness can be displayed in all its wonderment.

Yeah, anyway.  I followed this recipe pretty much as is.  The biscuits were scrumptious.  The berries, however, did not need the lemon juice.  Who puts lemon juice on strawberries?  I knew better than to add it, even thought to myself “What are you doing?!?” as I squeezed a lemon over the berries.  Oh well.  They were still yummy, but the berries were too lemony for my taste.  I think the lemony biscuits got overshadowed by equally lemony berries.  Next time I will make the lemon biscuits and the whipped cream, but I will continue to use my old strawberry topping recipe: berries, sugar, and a dash of vanilla.

A serving side note: My family’s tradition with shortcakes, crumbles, crisps, cobblers, and fruit pies is to serve the dessert in a bowl of regular milk.  This goes way, way, waaaaay back, and it’s so delicious I have no intention whatsoever of deviating from tradition.  When I serve this shortcake, I break a biscuit into 2 or 3 chunks and place it in a bowl.  Then I pour on some milk, add the berries on top, and finish it off with a healthy dollop of whipped cream.  Scrumtrillescent!

Lemony Strawberry Shortcakes
Adapted from food republik, who adapted from Epicurious
Serves 6

Sweet Lemon Buttermilk Biscuits
2 cups flour
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tsp baking powder
1 scant tsp baking soda
2 tbsp granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tbsp grated lemon zest
2/3 cup buttermilk or sour milk (make sour milk by adding a scant Tbs of vinegar or lemon juice to 2/3 cup milk)
Extra buttermilk or regular milk, about 2 Tbs (for brushing tops of biscuits)
Extra sugar, about 1 Tbs (for sprinkling)

2 pounds ripe strawberries, washed and hulled
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice

Whipped Cream
1 cup chilled whipping cream
3 tbsp sugar

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt together in a bowl. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the lemon zest and buttermilk. Fold gently into dry ingredients until incorporated.
Transfer dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat (with floured hands) into a circle about 1.5 inches thick. Cut dough into 6 wedges and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet.

Brush wedges with extra buttermilk (or regular milk) and sprinkle with extra sugar. Bake for about 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into middle of biscuits comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cut the strawberries into quarters (or halves if they’re small), and mix with the sugar and lemon juice. Let macerate for about 15 minutes.

Beat the whipping cream with the sugar until it forms soft peaks.

When biscuits are done, let them cool about 5 minutes, then cut them in half (or do what I do–simply tear biscuits into 2 or 3 chunks and place in bowl, to be topped with a heaping spoonful of berries). Pile with strawberries and whipped cream, and serve immediately.


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