When it comes to strawberry shortcake I'm firmly in the biscuit camp. That's how my Grandmother and my Mom always made it, and that's how I make it. I don't mind eating versions made with sponge cake... but you'll never see it made that way in my house. Proper strawberry shortcake is assembled from split just-out-of-the-oven biscuits graced with a dab of butter, over which are layered a LOT of sliced berries covered with a crown of whipped cream.
Our CSA fruit share this weekend included two quarts of strawberries again, which were so ripe we were afraid we wouldn't be able to get them home before they turned into juice. You can see that a few of them look suspiciously dark and mushy, and there was no keeping any aside for another dish later, so we quickly rinsed and sliced them and resigned ourselves to a strawberry shortcake blow-out.
For this month's Taste and Create I was partnered with our hostess, Nicole of For The Love of Food. She literally saved my butt, because she had a really beautiful photo of and recipe for buttermilk biscuits... and I had all those berries to use! I usually make my biscuits with cream when they're going to embrace berries, but these buttermilk biscuits looked too good to ignore. Unfortunately, my annoying and badly calibrated oven was running hot, and crisped up the bottoms before the biscuits got a chance to really rise, but I must say they tasted lovely. Do visit Nicole's post to see how they ought to look!
Strawberry Shortcake With Buttermilk Biscuits
2 quarts strawberries
About 6 tablespoons sugar
2 Cups Flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Fructose (or sugar)
1 teaspoon Salt
125 grams Butter (I believe that’s 1 American-sized stick of Butter)
3/4 Cup Buttermilk
1 1/2 cups whipping cream (for whipped cream)
Prepare the berries:
Pick through the berries and set aside a few for garnishing. Wash, hull and slice the rest of them and toss with sugar to taste. Chill until serving time.
Make the biscuits (recipe courtesy of For the Love of Food):
Preheat oven to 235°C (450°F).
Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl. Add the Butter in smaller chunks and cut together with a fork or pastry cutter until there are just tiny little pea-sized crumbles. Then, add the butter milk and mix in, once it gets too sticky, use your hand to mix.
Spread a teeny tiny bit of flour onto your counter top - I mean a supper thin layer, we don’t want too much to transfer to the biscuits, we just don’t want the dough to stick. Ok, now make the dough into a ball, take your rolling pin, and beat it. Give it about 4-6 whacks and then fold it in half. Do this over and over until you’ve done it 10 times. Then, roll the dough out so that it’s about 2 cm thick (about 3/4 inch). Then, cut the biscuits with a cookie cutter, biscuit cutter, or metal measuring cup. You will have some dough left over, fold and whack, fold and whack - 2 times is enough. Then roll it a bit, and cut again, until there’s no dough left.
Place them on a baking sheet really close together (touching sides) so that they rise up and not out. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Assemble the shortcakes:
Whip the cream (I don't add sugar, but you can add a tablespoon of confectioner's sugar if you like). Split the warm biscuits and place a pat of butter on one half of each biscuit. Spoon the strawberries over the buttered half and add a dollop of whipped cream. Set the tops back on and dollop more whipped cream over them. Garnish with a whole berry.