Being raised in New England with its four distinct seasons, summer foods and dishes meant many things to me—but one always stood out—Strawberry Shortcake. It just doesn't seem like summer without it.
My mother made the best Strawberry Shortcake (it was my grandfather's favorite), and she, of course, made her own biscuits.
They are not too hard to make and are so much better than store-bought. Try this recipe. You can't mess up the biscuits as there is no rolling, cutting or shaping.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- three-quarters cup light cream
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 cups strawberries, sliced
- 3-4 tablespoons sugar
Real whipped cream
- 1 pint whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon real vanilla extract
In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse/process until the butter is completely incorporated into the flour mixture. (If you don't have a food processor, put all the ingredients into a large bowl and use a pastry knife or pastry blender to incorporate the butter into the flour mixture.)
Transfer the flour mixture from the food processor to a mixing bowl. Stir in the cream, egg and vanilla. Mix with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until combined, but don’t over mix.
Don’t worry—the biscuit dough will be very, very sticky.
As best as you can (wet hands), divide the dough into six portions and plop them on a cookie sheet fitted with a piece of parchment paper. They will look like six freeform, but rounded mounds.
Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 16 minutes. Transfer immediately to a wire rack.
For the filling, mix about four cups of sliced fresh strawberries and three or four tablespoons of sugar. Let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours so the strawberries get juicy.
For real whipped cream, use electric beaters to beat the cream, sugar and vanilla until medium peaks form.
For each serving, take one biscuit and cut it in half. On top of one half with the cut side facing up, smother with about half-cup of strawberries and juice. Add the other half of the biscuit as the top and add a few more strawberries. Top with a big dollop of whipped cream.
For smaller-sized desserts, serve half of the biscuit with strawberries and whipped cream on top. This version makes 12 portions.