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Monday, March 4, 2019

Who Doesn't Love Real Strawberry Shortcake? by @JacquieRogers #recipe #strawberryshortcake



Who Doesn't Love Real
Strawberry Shortcake?
by Jacquie Rogers

We had our first warm day today--50 degrees and sunny!  I'm plenty tired of cold and snow, so spring is more than welcome.  We'll get a few more freezes before spring actually settles in, but today showed promise.  Mr R and I took advantage and pruned grapevines.  We have no idea what we're doing but we gave it our best shot.

Before pruning. 
No after photo--the sun decided to set and we weren't done yet.

One thing I missed while living in the city was good food.  Really good food.  Fresh from the garden good food.  You just can't beat it.  When we moved to Idaho last fall, we got here just in time for vine-ripened cantaloupe, spaghetti squash, watermelon, and oh, those tomatoes.  We'll be growing a few things but time and circumstances prevent us from growing all that we'd like to.  Not to worry, we can buy from the local farmers.  Good stuff!

Spring is on its way and I can't resist perusing seed catalogues and browsing in the garden store just waiting for the right time to buy.  Meantime, we're making plans.  Yep, I can hardly wait for spring.

And what does spring bring?

Strawberries!!!

In author interviews, I'm often asked what's my favorite food.  I say strawberry shortcake--with real shortcakes, real strawberries, and real whipped cream.  My mom's strawberry shortcake was absolutely divine and of course I learned from the best.  So here's the recipe.

Okay, sorta.  The thing is, our family didn't ever use official recipes--we just cooked.  We used a handful of this and a dollop of that.  I have measuring cups but mostly because they make handy scoops or pitchers, and also because Mr R likes them.  He gets annoyed when the lines fade so I have a special one for him that only he uses.  In fact, he used it when he measured what all I put in the shortcake dough.  And took out because, you know, sometimes you throw in a dab too much.  See how that works?  But not to worry, he's an engineer and he got all the ingredients, whether going in or coming out, measured.  Pretty much.

Let's get started.  First you slice or mash fresh strawberries, then make the shortcakes (this is not sponge cake!!!), and while the shortcakes are baking, you whip the cream.  Really, this is too good to use Cool Whip.  Puh-leeze!  

Strawberries
Some people like the berries whole, some like them sliced, and some like them semi-mashed (use a potato masher--all of us in Idaho have them).  If the strawberries are field-ripened, you probably won't need to add sweetener.  If not, throw in sugar, honey, or agave syrup (my favorite) to taste and mix.  Cover and put in the refrigerator.

Shortcakes
Turn the oven on to 425 degrees.  Grease and flour a baking pan or line with parchment paper.

In a bowl, mix:
4 cups flour (I use spelt and it's marvelous)
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbs. baking powder
1 scant tsp. salt

Work in 2 cubes of softened butter into the dry ingredients until the flour lumps are about marble-size or a little smaller.  Use your fingers and don't overwork it--this is a food of love.

Put in a little vanilla to taste.  Let's say 1 teaspoon.  Pour in a cup of milk and stir.  If that's not enough, put in more.  Depends on the humidity in the air and flour, what type of flour you use, and all that.  You want a very sticky, thick dough.

When all ingredients are mixed slightly--remember, food of love, be gentle and don't over mix or overwork--turn out onto a floured board.  Flour your hands and sprinkle a little flour on the dough.  Pat out to 3/4" thick, and make sure the sides are nice and even.  Cut out shortcakes 2" or more.  I use a short, fat glass (for old-fashioneds).  Place about 1/2" apart in the baking pan.

Bake for about 20 minutes, more or less, depending on the size of the shortcakes and your oven.  All ovens are different.

Whipped Cream
My dad preferred to pour heavy cream on his, but I like whipped cream better.  Don't ruin your fabulous shortcakes by using Cool Whip.  Save that for the Jell-O salad.

1 pint heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Pour cream in mixer bowl.  Turn mixer on medium until you get a little air in the cream; otherwise, you'll have splatters all over the kitchen.  Once the cream gets a little fluffy, turn the mixer on high.  When the cream starts to thicken, slowly drizzle the sugar in.  Then add the vanilla.  Whip until stiff.

Final Assembly
Split the hot shortcake horizontally.  On the lower half, spoon on some strawberries, and a dollop of whipped cream.  Place the upper half of the shortcake on it and add more strawberries and more whipped cream.

Enjoy!
Everyone will love it, and you'll be considered the best cook ever.  So sit back and take the compliments gracefully.  You don't have to tell anyone how easy it is.
Walter wasn't about to be left out!



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10 comments:

  1. Oh I can't wait for strawberry season.....
    and think Huckleberry shortcake oh yum

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't tried it with huckleberries but it's delicious with raspberries, tayberries, blueberries, and peaches. Or combo thereof. Yum.

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  2. We have a strawberry festival every year in Pasadena, one of Houston's big suburbs. Strawberries are a big thing in the spring in Houston. Love strawberry shortcake!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Freshly picked strawberries are food of the gods. Soooo good!

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  3. February is strawberry month in Florida, so we are getting a lot of fresh berries in all the fruit stands and stores. By chance and a missed turn, we ended up in a strawberry farm and winery coming back from Central Florida last week. It's a sight to be seen--a never-ending field of strawberries. Your recipe makes my mouth water!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paradise, for sure. And don't you just love strawberries that are actually red in the middle instead of greenish white?

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  4. I love strawberry shortcake. Instead of whipped cream, we use a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yum. Now you've made me hungry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Both! Only we put the ice cream on the side. Oh my.

      Delete
  5. Strawberries have always been my favorite fruit, then peaches, then cherries. This recipe looks delicious and I'm looking forward to make shortcakes. I used to have a strawberry patch...the birds would dive in and take one chomp out of a plump red berry and leave the rest. I ended up putting in several stakes and covered it with netting anchored to the ground because the little feathered fiends ...yes, I said fiends not friends would hop in otherwise. the sticks kept the netting high enough so pokey beaks could not get at the fruit. I'd pick a bowl of berries with the help of my little guys...sometimes the berries never made it to the house.Thanks for the recipe,JJ.

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  6. Looks divine and I sure do love my strawberry shortcake! Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete

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