Yesterday while driving through Georgia, we stopped at a farm and went strawberry picking. It was incredibly fun despite the heat, and we ended up with a big bucket of hand picked, ripe, ruby-red strawberries. I’m currently staying on the Florida coast and decided to use the strawberries and make some Southern strawberry shortcakes! I love that the rich butteriness of the shortcake is balanced with the cool cream and ripe strawberries.
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FOR THE SHORTCAKES
1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup superfine sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon softened butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
FOR THE STRAWBERRY FILLING
2 pints strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1/2 vanilla bean or 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Whipped cream, sweetened to taste, beaten to soft peaks
Side note: Something I was recently shown was making my own kind of vanilla extract by simply pouring a bit of rum into a little glass tube containing vanilla beans. It was delicious on the strawberries because you got a bit of the flavor of the rum as well as the vanilla.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
Cut up the strawberries into quarters and place them in a bowl with the sugar and vanilla extract. Let this mixture rest for at least an hour to allow the berries to macerate in the sugar and you’ll end up with flavorful, syrupy berry juice.
Sift together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt) into a large bowl. Add the cubed butter and use your fingers to mix it into the dry ingredients. Add in the cream and mix it in with a wooden spoon (don’t over mix).
Knead the dough on a flat, floured surface and roll it out into a 3/4th inch thick round. Use a biscuit cutter (I don’t even have one, I used the lid of a mason jar) to cut out the rounds. Brush them with butter and sprinkle with sugar before popping them in the oven for 15-20 mins.
Beat some heavy whipping cream and pour the berries on top &….