Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Strawberry shortcake

It's strawberry season here in Southern California! Which means that all the farms have little roadside stands filled with red berries. Park and walk up to one, and you can smell the sweetness from several feet away. Yum.

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So naturally, this was a big part of the weekend.

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First you wash all your berries and slice them up. Place them in a bowl and sprinkle just the tiniest bit of sugar on top (I tossed in some grated lemon zest as well).

While they sit, mix up your dough and cut it out.

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The biscuits only take 10 minutes in the oven, but that's plenty of time for whipping up some heavy cream (again, just add a touch of sugar and vanilla - you want the berries to shine).

And before you know it, you have this...

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Perfection.

Strawberry shortcake biscuits (makes about 6 servings, adapted from the Tassajara Bread Book biscuit recipe)

2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into cubes
2 eggs
1/2 cup cream

**Put the dry ingredients into the food processor and pulse to combine.

**Add the cubes of butter and pulse 7 or 8 times for about 1 second each. The mixture will resemble coarse cornmeal. Use a pastry cutter or two knives if you don't have a food processor.

**Mix together the cream and the eggs and then pour into the food processor while pulsing. A soft dough should form within a few seconds. Stir the liquid in with a spatula if you aren't using the food processor. Don't overmix.

**Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and gently shape into a rectangle approximately 1/2 inch thick. Fold in thirds lengthwise, turn one quarter turn and repeat once more. This gentle folding creates a tender, flaky biscuit.

**Roll the dough out (I just pat with my hands) to about 1/2 or 3/4 inch thick. Cut out your biscuits with whatever shape you like.

**Bake in a 425 degree oven for about 10 minutes, until the tops are just golden brown.
The biscuits might sound slightly intimidating (it's all the patting and folding), but they seriously take all of 15 minutes to pull together. Once you have the technique under your belt, you can have them ready to pop in the oven in 5 minutes (I know, because the first batch was so good that I had to make a second one, immediately).

P.S. Looking for a specific recipe and don't want to search through the archives? I finally added a recipe index post that I'll update as I go along. Check it out by clicking on the link in my sidebar.

43 comments:

  1. Strawberry shortcake was my favorite dessert growing up. That looks absolutely amazing!

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  2. Oh my gosh! This looks like heaven, darling! Can I come and visit? I'll bring the lemonade spritzers!

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  3. Wow. I was just lamenting to my husband that if we lived in California, we could have strawberry pie right now. In Michigan, this will have to be filed away till June....

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  4. Oh my goodness! First, the photos are amazing! Those strawberries look redder than red... if that's possible. And secondly, the dessert looks so fresh I can barely taste it.

    Can't wait until I can get fresh, local strawberries here in Chicago :).

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  5. Oh how I wish I lived in California! It won't be strawberry season here in Chicago for a long time. These strawberries look so lovely and ripe, this recipe seems to be the perfect way to highlight them!

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  6. dude, you brought out the big guns on the whole "tempting a new yorker back with the best of california" discussion. i am slain!

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  7. this looks so delicious and healthy! is this allowed? LOL

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  8. yummy - last night I had them in my salad..

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  9. might as well make these when we finish off our strawberry cake. i LOVE strawberry season here, it is maybe the best ever.

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  10. oh my! it looks delicious. it's a while until strawberries are in season here (like june!) but i can't wait til i can go strawberry picking like last year.

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  11. I am literally drooling right now. Oh my goodness...these look and sound delicious! Your photos are stunning.

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  12. butter has been on my counter since yesterday to make these delicious little cakes, how did you ever know? :)

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  13. dear GOD these look delicious.

    i could eat the strawberries, the biscuits, and probably the photo as well.

    what kind of camera do you use?

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  14. This is my favoritest dessert of all time! I love strawberry shortcake more than life itself. Your pictures are stunning as well...

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  15. Oh YUM! I'm a July birthday and strawberry shortcake was always a tradition. We never made it ourselves though. Maybe I'll send this to my Mom as a subtle hint for my bday this year. :)

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  16. Those berries are PERFECT- sweet and delicious too! We are several months away from those where I am. But I do still have some in the freezer-hmmmm... Enjoy them!

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  17. oh this is what I miss THE MOST about being GF. How I loved eating a good shortcake. :( sad.

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  18. oh so sweet + pretty!
    yum. perfect for spring!

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  19. Why don't I live next door! Why?

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  20. You had me at hello...

    These are definitely part of my post-work activities for the night.

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  21. Your strawberry shortcake looks amazing! I'm so glad you posted the recipe for the biscuits. It's also strawberry season here in Florida, so I've been trying to find a biscuit recipe that would work nicely with them. I can't wait to try this over the weekend!

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  22. Rachel, I love strawberry shortcake! This looks so perfect!! xoxo

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  23. YUM! and the strawberries are actually red inside! heaven.

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  24. oh yum, this looks brilliant! Those strawberries look amazing.

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  25. Mmmm...totally lusting after one of those yummy looking shortcakes! And I love your biscuit cutter. Such perfect, comforting, homey kitchen stuff!

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  26. Delicious! I always want to make and eat your food!

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  27. oh dear me ... this looks perfect! and those strawberries ... amazing photos!

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  28. YUMM!!!! I might just show up one day begging for this!

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  29. March is strawberry season?!? That is too cruel for the rest of us.

    You are a food stylist. I hate biscuits but I want to make those.

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  30. It looks delicious! I just found the first of our strawberries here in Northern California, and had them with home-whipped cream...

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  31. No I am drooling all over y shirt. Oh my.

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  32. Good recipes always call for immediate seconds, right? Gorgeous photos.

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  33. Sorry for the double-comments, but I just made this tonight, and it was wonderful, and very easy too! I whipped some cream with vanilla bean for the filling, and added a little strawberry jam to the strawberries because I was short on fresh strawberries.

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  34. i can't wait for strawberry season to hit Oregon.
    Hood strawberries are the BEST. they are super sweet and because of that property, they don't last very long.

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  35. I am so jealous you have strawberries!

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  36. i made this tonight, and it was the most amazingly yummy spring dessert. and fast! less than 30 minutes and i was done. jeepers!

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