Suzi's Blog

Old Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake

Yesterday I posted a blog for green beans, noting that I have been told, professionally, to find balance in my life.

Okay, I did that.

Back to dessert. Look, I hate to say this but there are leaves turning in the Catskills. The time left for fresh berries is beginning to dwindle. We do still have strawberries up there and lots of blackberries. So for one last time, how about homemade shortcake with fresh berries? This recipe comes from master chef Larry Forgione. It is the quintessential strawberry shortcake. His restaurant is superior and you should look at his matching book, An American Place, for other perfect tastes.

I know, next to where the berries are stashed in your market there is that adjoining rack with those packets of itty bitty sponge cakes you can use to “make” strawberry shortcake.

Put the packet down. Step away from the packet. Carefully pick up a container of berries, keep your hands in sight and slowly back away. That’s it. Good. Good. You can do this.

Really, you can.

You’re going to get dough on your hands. That’s why it’s called “Old Fashioned.” Think of it as culinary therapy.

Old Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake

Servings: 6

Ingredients:

For the Shortcake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 2 mashed hard-cooked large egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling:

  • 3 pints strawberries, washed, hulled and halved or quartered if very large
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup heavy cream

 
Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly butter a baking sheet. Sift the flour, ¼ cup of the sugar, and the baking powder into a bowl. Add the butter pieces. Using your fingertips, work the butter quickly and lightly into the flour until the mixture is the consistency of very fine crumbs or sand. add the cream and egg yolks and stir with a fork until the dough just holds together.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead briefly, just until it forms a smooth dough. Do not overwork. Pat or roll out the dough to a thickness of ¾-inch. Using a floured 3-inch cookie cutter, cut out 4 rounds of dough. gather up the dough scraps, reroll and cut out 2 more rounds.

Put the rounds on the prepared baking sheet. Brush with the melted butter and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. bake on the middle rack of the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown and

firm to the touch.

Meanwhile, put the strawberries in a bowl and toss them with the sugar.

In a medium bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form, cover and refrigerate.

Transfer the biscuits to a rack and let cool for 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully split the biscuits in half and set the tops aside. Place the bottoms on dessert plates and heap the strawberries onto them. Generously spoon whipped cream over the strawberries, and replace the biscuit tops. Serve immediately, with any remaining whipped cream on the side.

Source: An American Place by Chef Larry Forgione

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