Summer produce has been capturing my heart and strawberries are no exception.
The first time I ever had strawberry shortcakes was in Maine during the summer I spent there with an ex-boyfriend and his family. The strawberries there were small, juicy and sweet. Best eaten fresh, of course, so his mom made strawberry shortcakes one evening. The combination of juicy strawberries, soft cream, and a flaky biscuit was one that was as attractive in taste and as it was in texture.
And, then, I never had it again until a few weeks ago when I decided this would be a good dessert to bring to a dinner.
I was feeling ambitious and thought I could pull off everything in 45 minutes which was a bit of a stretch considering I also had to pick up the strawberries after work but forgot I didn't have cash. As I was at the ATM, I couldn't find my debit card which I ended up finding later. Then, it was a mad dash to another ATM, the fruit stand and throwing everything together in the kitchen which ended up exploding in flour, cream and some dropped biscuits.
So, these are totally easy to throw together (with no rush necessary) in about an hour.
You can easily prep these ahead as well by pre-slicing the strawberries and assembling the dry ingredients of the biscuit mix. This will keep a few days wrapped tightly in the fridge.
I recommend they be accompanied by lots of the freshest strawberries and cream. And multiple servings of both.
Mini Strawberry Shortcakes
Adapted from Crestview Kitchen's Grandma's Strawberry Shortcakes
Yields: about 12 strawberry shortcakes
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1 egg, lightly beaten
⅔ cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 pound strawberries, sliced
Preheat oven to 450º.
In a large bowl, rub the lemon zest and sugar together to release the essential oils in the lemon zest. Sift together flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the butter until coarse like crumbs start to form.
Combine the egg, buttermilk and lemon juice. Add to the dry ingredients, stirring just enough for the dough to come together. Do not over mix.
Knead the dough 10 times. Then, pat it out onto a flat, floured surface and form into a disk shape. You want the dough to be spread out until about ½ inch high. Use a juice or water glass (or round cookie cutter) to cut out biscuits. Space the biscuits out onto a lightly greased baking sheet.
Bake for 13 minutes or until golden brown.
To make the cream, pour the 3 cups of heavy whipping cream in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whip until soft peaks form and gradually add in the sugar. The cream is finished when stiff peaks form but do not over whip.
Once biscuits are ready, split in half. Spoon on whipped cream and strawberries between the two halves and on top of the biscuit.