Last night’s dessert was a little spur of the moment, given that I wasn’t even planning on making dessert* but we had alllll those fresh strawberries from our trip to Swanton Berry Farm just begging to be used in something way more interesting than a smoothie or in cereal. I’d intended to make strawberry shortcake at some point (really, why else have fresh strawberries if not for dessert?) but had forgotten to buy Angel Food cake or those little processed puffs from the store, and decided to chance making my own**.
*We’re supposed to be on a diet here!
**This was risky, given several failed attempts at shortcake in the past.
I found what appeared to be an easy recipe on Pinch My Salt‘s blog – I loved it because she talks about how she used to love the store-bought sponge cakes as a kid* but when she mastered homemade shortcake she tossed those processed packages out the window and never looked back. I’ve been feeling a little more strongly lately about being authentic in my cooking, so I wanted to try a homemade first option before resorting to pre-packaged cakes. In full disclosure, however, I sent my other half on an errand to buy backup dessert – just in case.
*Well who doesn’t?
Copied directly from Pinch My Salt’s blog:
4 cups fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced
4 – 6 tablespoons sugar (adjust to suit your own taste)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup cold milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
whipped cream (I prefer the real thing)*
*Kelsey’s note: Despite just claiming to be “more authentic”, I totally used the canned whipped cream instead of the real thing. Apparently I’m only willing to go so far for authenticity.
In a medium bowl, stir together the strawberries and sugar. Set strawberries aside to macerate while you prepare the shortcakes. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and sugar. Using a pastry blender* or your fingertips, and working quickly, cut or rub the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk and vanilla all at once to flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Using a large spoon, drop mixture into four equal piles on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake 12 – 15 minutes at 425 degrees. Remove biscuits to a rack and let cool for a few minutes. To serve, split a warm biscuit in two*, spoon 1/4 of the berry mixture over the bottom half (make sure you include lots of the juice), top with whipped cream and the other half of the biscuit.
*Note: Important to split the biscuits when they are warm. Evidently they crumble all to hell if you try to split them after. Another kitchen lesson learned!
Turns out we didn’t need the back-up dessert, because it was mm mm mmmmm, delicious! For a last-minute dessert, it was perfect: super easy to make￼￼, and – most importantly for me – with the exception of fresh strawberries, includes only ingredients you would pretty much already have in the kitchen anyway.
Another spatula success! Until next time – happy baking!