Saturday, July 21, 2012

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake

The summers in the northwest are wonderful!  The clouds clear allowing the sunshine to highlight all the beautiful lush green that's been growing wildly the other 11 months of the year (that's a joke...kind of!).  One of my favorite things are locally grown strawberries.  Ever since I was a little girl I have anticipated fresh strawberries, I actually get giddy in the spring just knowing they'll be ready for picking soon.  In June I begin looking for the road side stands to pop up and I start to call the local farm where I go to pick my favorites to see when they'll open the patch.  For the few weeks that I'm able to pick our family gorges (is that the right word? YES!) on these little jewels for, pretty much, breakfast lunch and dinner...oh yeah, and dessert.  Here's my recipe for strawberry shortcake, this counts as dessert and breakfast:)

First prep the strawberries by rinsing and removing the hull.  Place in a bowl and mash with a fork or potato masher.  If they don't release much juice you can add a couple tablespoons of sugar and let sit.  The sugar will draw out the juices.

While the berries are sitting make the scones. I use a recipe from The Joy of Cooking:

Buttermilk Drop Scones

2 c ap flour
1/4 c sugar
4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t baking soda
1 egg
1 c buttermilk
3 1/2 T butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400F.  Combine dry ingredients into a med mixing bowl.  In a smaller bowl whisk together wet ingredients and pour into dry mixture.  Mix with a fork just til dry ingredients are moist, do not over mix!  Using an ice cream scoop drop batter onto a baking sheet making 12 equal size scones.  Sprinkle each top with coarse sugar and bake for 12-15 m, just til they start to brown.

While the scones are in the oven whip up your whipped cream in a stand mixer.  I pour about 2 c whipping cream in the bowl.  Using the whisk attachment start the mixture on med-low to form some bubbles.  Once this begins add in sugar, a couple tablespoons up to a 1/4 c depending on how sweet you like it.  By starting the whipping cream first it gives the sugar a better chance to fully dissolve in the cream and not just sit in the bottom of the bowl.  Once you add the sugar crank up the mixer to med-high and let it go for a couple minutes.  Keep an eye on it or you may have butter on your hands!

While the scones are still warm break them in half using a fork to get lots of nooks and crannies.  Spoon the strawberries on top and finally a big mound of whipped cream.  Enjoy!

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