Every year for as long as I can remember, I’ve eaten strawberry shortcake.
In the early years, it was a reward for
being slave labour spending time in a strawberry patch, picking enough berries so that my mother could freeze some and make a lot of jam from most of the rest.
More recently, it has become my tradition to start the incredible spring and summer of fresh local produce that’s available.
Here’s this year’s version.
Get the strawberries.
Remove the leaves and cut them into pieces.
Add the sugar and some orange liqueur.
Set the strawberries aside so they get syrupy from the sugar and liqueur while you make the biscuits.
Mix together the dry ingredients.
Add the butter and mix until it resembles a coarse meal.
Pour in the cream and stir with a fork until mixture comes together.
Flour your working surface and drop the dough onto the flour.
Roll to 1″ thickness.
Cut the dough into 2-1/2″ circles.
Place the dough circles onto a cookie sheet.
Brush on some of the egg and cream wash.
Top each biscuit with brown sugar.
After 25 minutes.
Now, assemble the shortbread.
Take a biscuit and cut it in half.
Load some of the macerated strawberries on the bottom half.
Place the other half of the biscuit on top.
Add some vanilla ice cream to the top, pour over some of the liquid from the strawberries and dig in.
Based on this recipe:
1 pint of strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons orange liqueur
2 cups all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 large egg
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Prepare the berries (hull and quarter them). Toss with the sugar and orange liqueur then set them aside while making the biscuits.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or two knives, until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Do not use your hands, as the butter needs to stay cold. Add 1 cup of the cream and mix to just combine.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Flour your work surface and place the dough on it. Roll the dough to 1″ thickness. Using a cookie cutter dipped in flour, cut out as many biscuits as possible. Put those rounds on a cookie sheet. Work the remaining dough into a ball, roll out to 1″ thickness and cut as many more circles out as possible. Combine the egg and remaining 1 tablespoon of cream and brush the tops of the biscuits. Sprinkle brown sugar on top and place dough in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
When the biscuits are cooked and cooled enough to handle, slice them in half. Place the bottom half on a plate, top it with strawberries, then the top of the biscuit. Top that with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some of the strawberry juice.