Strawberry Shortcakes

Are you thinking about Memorial Day weekend yet? I am, and I’m thinking strawberry shortcakes. It’s a bit backward, starting with dessert, but strawberries are so perfect right now that I couldn’t help myself. Warm biscuits overflowing with juicy berries and piles of lightly sweetened whipped cream? Better than chocolate. Yeah, I just said that. Don’t worry, I have holiday main course ideas too—coming next week—but for now, it’s all about the berries. (And when the berries are gone, and peaches take their place, pull this recipe out and make peach shortcakes. As good and perhaps even better than strawberry. Yeah, I just said that.)

These shortcake biscuits are as easy to make as the Easy Cream Scones I posted a couple of weeks ago and as fast as the Bisquick shortcakes we all grew up eating, but you know, tastier.

Strawberry Shortcakes
Biscuits adapted from The Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham
Makes 12 biscuits, serves 6 generously (recipe halves nicely)

Photo by Stephanie Meyer

2 pints strawberries, hulled, sliced
1/3 c. sugar, perhaps more 

2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. sugar
1 1/4 cups heavy cream, perhaps more
1/3 c. butter, melted

Whipped Cream
1 c. heavy whipping cream, cold
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, toss the strawberries with 1/3 c. sugar (more if strawberries are not very sweet) and set aside at room temperature.

Meanwhile, make the biscuits. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a mixing bowl. Stir the dry ingredients with a fork to blend and lighten. Slowly add cream to the mixture, stirring constantly. Gather the dough together; when it holds together and feels tender, it is ready to knead. If the dough seems shaggy and pieces are dry and falling away, then slowly add enough additional cream to make the dough hold together.

Place the dough on a lightly floured board and knead for 1 minute. Pat the dough into a square that is about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 12 squares and dip each into the melted butter so all sides are coated. Place the biscuits 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the biscuits are lightly browned.

While the biscuits bake, whip the cream. Beat cream, sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form.

To serve, split warm biscuits in half. Fill with strawberries and their juices, and top with plenty of whipped cream.