Thursday, June 25, 2009
daily bliss: strawberry shortcake
A classy tart of buttery crisp pastry, thick jam, and fresh sliced berries topped with whipped cream.
A light lemon scented white cake layered with jam and buttercream and whipped cream.
Fancy-ish. Special occasion-ish. (even if said special occasion is a warm Friday afternoon in June, with your favorite song playing in the background, and a few friends hanging around).
Strawberry shortcake is rustic in comparison, at least the way my Mom and I make it. A quick, simple biscuit-like cake, topped with sugar-laced sliced berries, and a soft mound of whipped cream. It's a treat fit for a late night snack in bed or an early morning breakfast on the deck. Or both.
1 cup all purpose white unbleached flour
1 cup white whole wheat or whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, cold, and cut into small pieces
1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Butter an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan.
Mix together dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Blend in butter using a pastry cutter or your fingers (my method of choice), until the mixture resembles course meal (like pastry). Add the milk and stir until just blended. Pat the dough into the prepared pan, and bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly golden on the top.
Cool slightly, cut into wedges, split, cover with berries and whipped cream.
Slice fresh, local strawberries and cover with sugar to bring out their juices and add to their sweetness. Add a hint of citrus juice if you'd like to brighten the flavors. Ideally, allow the berries to chill for 20 minutes or so.
heavy cream (i prefer organic)
vanilla extract to taste
sugar to taste
a spoonful of greek yogurt
Pour cream into a bowl, add vanilla and sugar, mix with a hand mixer until the cream sets up to your desired texture. Fold in the yogurt for a creme fraiche-esque tang.