It's that time of the year again...Strawberry Shortcake time, one of my favorite desserts.
Keep this shortcake recipe handy somewhere in your kitchen for it is one of the easiest and most delightful ways to serve fruit from now until the end of summer. Peaches, blueberries and apricots are a great substitute for the strawberries. It's the perfect dessert for the night after a visit to the farmer's market.
This recipe comes from Dorie Greenspan's book Baking From My Home To Yours, a must have for bakers.
Yield: 10 Servings
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. sugar
1 ½ sticks (12 Tbsp.) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 ½ cups cold heavy cream
Center a rack in the oven, and preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add the butter and, using your fingers, toss to coat with flour. Quickly, working with your fingertips, pinch and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly. Some pieces of butter will be about the size of peas, while other will be more like flakes of oatmeal.
Pour the cream over the dry ingredients, and toss and gently turn the ingredients with a fork until you’ve got a very soft dough. You’ll probably still have some flour at the bottom of the bowl, so reach in and use your hand to mix and gently knead the dough until it’s evenly blended. But don’t get overzealous: it’s better to have a few dry spots than an overworked dough. The dough should be soft and sticky.
Cut the dough into 10 roughly equal portions (each will be about 1/3 cup), and put 5 or 6 of them on the baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches of space between them. Pat each portion down until it’s about 1 inch high. [The shortcakes can be made to this point, wrapped in plastic wrap, and stashed in the freezer. Bake without defrosting – just add 5+ minutes to the baking time.]
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the sheet from front to back midway through, until the shortcakes are puffed and give just a little when poked with a fingertip. Pull the pan from the oven, and carefully transfer the shortcakes to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheet first.
Serve the shortcakes slightly warm or at room temperature. To serve, use a serrated knife to gently cut each cake in half horizontally. (They’re fragile, so go easy.) Put the bottom halves on plates, top with berries and whipped cream (unsweetened, and softly whipped), and then cap with the top halves.
From Dorie Greenspan Baking