Auros (auros) wrote,
Auros
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Strawberry Shortcake

I assembled this recipe based on a variety of recipes found online. I originally was going to do one with less butter (8 Tbs instead of 10), and using buttermilk instead of milk (I think it was 1 cup buttermilk), but then I didn't feel like going out to buy the buttermilk and couldn't figure out what I'd do with the rest of it if I did buy it... There was also one with a LOT less butter (like 4 or 6 Tbs? I forget) using heavy cream for the liquid. But anyways, this turned out pretty well.

(BTW, has anybody else noticed that shortcake is actually a bread?)

Strawberry!


Wash two pints of strawberries. Remove the tops (sepals and cores), and convert into small pieces. (I used my pastry blender for this, but a potato masher, or even just dicing with a knife, would be fine.) Squirt over a teaspoon or two of lemon juice. Add a shot of chambord. Stir in sugar, to taste. Zap in microwave, covered, on 60%, for two to three minutes, til steaming. Chill in fridge.

Shortcake!


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Sift 2 cups flour (or very slightly less -- you'll see why below) into a large bowl -- larger than you think you need (again, you'll see why). I should note here that I have the Coolest Flour Sifter Ever. My mom gave it to me for my birthday a number of years back. Instead of the usual vertical rotary piece over a curved grating, it has two flat gratings, and each has a little pinwheel structure that turns back and forth when you squeeze the handle. It works very fast, and double-sifts.

Mix in 2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, and 2 Tbs sugar (can be slightly rounded / liberal if you want your shortcake a bit sweet, rather than neutral).

Cut up 10 Tbs chilled butter (one and a quarter sticks, straight from the fridge) into ~1cm cubes, and then cut into dry ingredients with a pastry blender til the largest bits of butter left are no more than a couple millimeters in diameter ("coarse crumbs").

Wash your hands. Slowly pour in 2/3 cup of milk, gradually kneading mixture to form a dough. Once all the milk is in, you may want to gradually add a little flour around the edges of the bowl, so as you knead, the dough doesn't stick to the bottom. (This is where that large bowl comes into play: you have room to roll the doughball along the sides. Also the slightly reduced flour: as you flour the surface, the dough is going to absorb some of that.)

Once the dough comes together, sprinkle some flour on a cutting board or other flat surface, roll (with floured rolling pin) or hand-spread the dough into a roughly 6 by 12 inch rectangle, and cut into eight 3 inch squares.

Place the squares on a lightly greased pan, with at least a couple inches between them. Bake for ~12-15 minutes, til golden brown and delicious.

Serve fresh from oven, sliced open through the middle (horizontal plane between bottom and top) to vent steam and improve absorption, with a ladle of Strawberry! and some whipped cream or ice cream.

Makes eight servings... or four, if you're greedy.
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