What else could these strawberries become? The shortcake recipe is simple, and I only made a few changes to it. Grated a small bit of lemon zest into the dough, and I used skim milk instead of the half and half. It didn’t make much of a difference in texture, but a lot in the fat. The butter technique is the best! She says frozen, mine was in the fridge and it grated without any issues. Didn’t brush it with egg white either, don’t really want shiny biscuits. The original recipe was longer, but I didn’t follow the diretions about the strawberries. It was the usual sugar and fruit thing, and that’s often too blandly sweet for me. Instead, I took about a pound and a half of the strawberries, and sliced them all. Half of them I put some sugar on and put aside, the other half I used for the sauce. About a cup of low acid orange juice, a half cup sugar (your guess is as good as mine on the amount of sugar, it’s up to you), and the juice of half of a lemon with some zest went into a saucepan and simmered until the sugar was dissolved. Then the other half of the strawberries went into the sauce pan, and it all simmered for a good 20 minutes to blend. A few tablespoons of water and some cornstarch were mixed together and put into the sauce, and boiled until it was a thick, tasty sauce. It’s very sunny tasting, not very tart but enough to be cheerfull and upbeat instead of heavy and more of the same.
To put them together, the biscuits were split, and I put sauce on the bottom half, topped it with the sugared strawberries, and then put the whipped cream on the top. The top of the biscuit went on, and I repeated the sauce, strawberries, and whipped cream. Wanted to use real whipped cream, but we were taking them to D’s mom’s, and I was worried the whipped cream wouldn’t do well through dinner. That’s right, it’s Cool Whip darn it! D says the first picture is his favourite, because it looks like a puppy. (This is where we nod and smile at D, as if he was making sense.) (Ok, so it does kinda look like a puppy.)
2 cups all-purpose bleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 cup butter, frozen
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup half and half
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 425 degrees. Mix flour, salt, baking powder and 3 Tbs. sugar in a medium bowl. Grate 2 Tbs. of the butter on the coarse holes of a box grater into dry ingredients; toss to coat. Repeat grating and tossing with remaining butter. Combine egg and half-and-half; pour into flour mixture. Toss with a fork to form large clumps. Lightly press clumps into a ball; add a teaspoon more half-and-half to the bowl if dough won’t come together.
Turn dough onto work surface; press into an 8-by-4- to 5-inch rectangle. Cut into 6 squares, placing them 1 inch apart on a small baking sheet. (Can be refrigerated up to 2 hours before baking.) Before baking, brush tops with optional egg white for a particularly attractive sheen. Sprinkle with remaining 2 Tbs. sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool until warm, 5 to 10 minutes.
This shortbread recipe was originally featured in the USA WEEKEND article Very Berry Shortcake Simplified on July 13, 2003, written by Pam Anderson.