Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Strawberry Shortcake


For many years, I served Meringue Shells with vanilla non-fat frozen yogurt/vanilla ice cream and strawberries for Christmas Eve. In recent years most family members have opted for Strawberry Shortcake instead (much less sugar!).

Fresh strawberry shortcake with blueberries as well as strawberries (the last of the local season) has become our traditional Fourth of July dessert, most often aboard Condor.


I make this shortcake with either fresh (local) New England strawberries or for Christmas Eve* and other times when local berries are not available with local strawberries I have frozen (see Freezing Strawberries). The flavor is so much better than that of "trucked-in" California or Florida strawberries. Below are 2 recipes for shortcake (dropped and rolled)  I  prefer the dropped version,  but the rolled is also good and does not require having yogurt on hand.


DROP METHOD SHORTCAKE
(Makes 5 shortcakes)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Mix together in a bowl (my method of choice) or food processor:

1 c unbleached flour
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1 T sugar

Cut
1 1/2 T butter (range is 1 - 2 1/2 T depending on how "healthy" you want to cook)

into bits and cut butter into flour using two knives or a pastry blender or pick up a bit of the dry ingredients, rub them with the butter between your fingers, and drop them again. Alternatively you can mix in a food processor using the pulse mode   All the butter should be thoroughly blended before proceeding.

Using large spoon, mix in or mix on  pulse mode in a food processor :

1/2 c plain non-fat yogurt

just until mixture forms a ball. Drop tablespoons of the dough onto a greased baking sheet. To give shortcakes enough thickness to be easily forked in half lengthwise when cooked, leave dough rounded; do not flatten out.

Bake 7-9 minutes, or until the biscuits are golden brown. Cool biscuits and split. Serve filled and topped with sliced and /or sliced and slightly mashed (with fork or potato masher) strawberries and topped with plain (no sugar or vanilla) whipped cream.


ROLLED SHORTCAKE
(Makes 4 shortcakes)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Mix together in a bowl or food processor:

7/8 c unbleached flour
1/4 t salt
1 1/2  t baking powder
1 T sugar

Cut
2 1/2  T butter (I sometimes use less)


into bits and cut butter into flour using two knives or a pastry blender or pick up a bit of the dry ingredients, rub them with the butter between your fingers, and drop them again. Alternatively you can mix in a food processor using the pulse mode   All the butter should be thoroughly blended before proceeding.

Using large spoon, mix in or mix on  pulse mode in a food processor :


1/4 cup milk
2 T cream

just until mixture forms a ball. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead it for 30 seconds then pat or roll it to 3/4 inch thickness. Using a 2 3/4 inch cookie cutter or a glass of approximately the same diameter, cut out 5 circles, using all the dough. Place shortcakes 1 inch apart on a baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees F until puffed and golden about 14 minutes. Cool biscuits and split. Serve filled and topped with sliced and /or sliced and slightly mashed (with fork or potato masher) strawberries and topped with plain (no sugar or vanilla) whipped cream.

*And if strawberry juice gets on the special white holiday tablecloth see: Make Strawberry Stains Vanish.

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