When I was young, I remember the first time my mom made Strawberry Shortcake.
It looked almost exactly like this, minus the metal rings and the flowers. I remember thinking “mom is the best cook in the world” when I saw it.
Strawberry Shortcake is one of my favorite desserts, and I have never understood why people buy those yellow sponge cake things when you can have real shortcake in no time at all.
My shortcake isn’t nearly as impressive as mom’s was, but it tastes just as good.
A shortcake is very similar to biscuits, and they are just so easy to make. I’ll show you how.
Dump your dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk them around to make sure that 1. everything is aerated, and 2. to make sure that everything is incorporated.
Then take some heavy cream, crack an egg into it, and mix with a fork.
I am going to share a biscuit/pie crust/shortcake secret. Freeze your shortening/butter/lard and grate it into your dry ingredients. You don’t have to cut anything in, you don’t have to worry about ‘is this pea size or not’ and it makes your pastry totally flaky. Totally!
Just mix this all around to get it coated in flour. Make a well in the center, and pour in your liquid. Stir with a fork or a wooden spoon till it forms a ball. Dump onto a floured surface.
I generally make my pastry into a disk shape, whether it is biscuit dough, or pie dough, or shortcake. If I were making biscuit or pie crust, I would wrap this in plastic and refrigerate for about ½ an hour.
Since I made shortcakes, I divided them into 8 equal sections, and patted them into rounds.
Then I sprinkled them with sanding sugar. If I had had plain white sanding sugar, I would have used that, but I didn’t so we went with fun.
Pop these into the fridge for ½ an hour then bake for 20 minutes at 400º I am thinking that I should have waited till they came out of the oven to top it with the sugar.
Slice them in half, and layer with strawberries and cool whip. I am a big lover of home made whipped cream, but for Strawberry Shortcake, I need something that will not melt away into nothingness in 30 seconds. I need the stability of cool whip.
And remember that strawberry ?
I found a use for it.
I generally layer shortcake, berries, cool whip, shortcake, berries, and cool whip. Unless you forget to get the cool whip out of the freezer in time, so it is only thawed around the top edge, so you are stuck with only cool whip on the top.
- 2 c. pastry flour
- 4 tsp. baking powder
- ¾ tsp. salt
- 1/3 c. sugar
- 6 tbsp. butter
- ¾ c. heavy cream
- 1 large egg
Freeze your butter (or if you are like me and already have a pound of butter in the freezer, just grab a stick). Measure your dry ingredients into a bowl, whisking to incorporate. Grate your fat into it and mix to coat fat with flour. Make a well in the center. Combine liquids and whisk with fork. Pour your liquid into the well, and mix till just combined. Dump your dough onto a floured surface. Divide dough into 8 equal sections. Pat into 2½ inch rounds that are about ½ inch thick. Bake at 400º for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Cut into half and layer with berries and cool whip.