When I was growing up, an older couple befriended our family. Years went by and all of a sudden, we realized that they were just like grandparents to us. You've heard them referred to here as Ron and Julie. They mean more to me than I ever could have guessed when Ron replaced Vickie on my bus route or when Julie would scoot the pencil cup I was stretching to reach over to me at the library.
I loved (and still do) going to Ron and Julie's house for dinners, birthdays, and camp outs. I always looked forward to whatever Julie had dreamed up for dessert. Julie is the kind of entertainer I strive to be. She goes all out and makes it appear as though it took exactly no effort at all. One summer Julie got hooked on Schwans' shortcakes. That summer, I got hooked on them too! I tasted them and took note of them in my mind hoping to recreate a homemade version someday.
I recently came across a recipe for shortcakes at King Arthur Flour. During a big grocery shopping trip, my Mom declared that she was craving strawberry shortcake. Just like that, someday came!
This shortcake recipe is PERFECTION. It turns out shortcakes that are not quite cake and not quite biscuit. They have a smidgen of sweetness to them.
The strawberries are on right now and you've just got to make them!
slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup butter, COLD
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk (Or my trusty substitute: 1Tbsp lemon juice and enough milk to make 1 cup.)
Pre-heat oven to 425F.
Mix dry ingredients, cut in cold butter. Whisk together wet ingredients and then add them to the dry ingredients, stirring just until the dough begins to come together. You may add a little extra milk if your dough seems too dry. Don't add too much or you'll turn your shortcakes into biscuits.
Turn the dough out onto a pastry mat or floured counter, kneading just until the dough looks ready to press out. About 4 or 5 times.
Gently pat the dough out until it's about 1/2 inch thick. Cut dough into shortcakes with a biscuit cutter. Place shortcakes onto an ungreased cookie sheet (I like to use a pizza pan), so that the edges are touching. Brush the tops with a little milk and sprinkle with a little extra sugar.
Bake 10-12 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool before serving. If you like your shortcakes warm, just wait about 15 minutes. We like ours at room temperature, so I waited a lot longer.
(KAF says you'll get about 9 shortcakes. I think I got about 12.)
1/2 pound fresh strawberries
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 to 2 Tbsp sugar
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
Wash strawberries, remove stems, and cut them into bite sized pieces.
Mix strawberries with about 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Just before serving, place heavy whipping cream into a glass bowl. Beat with a hand blender on high speed until it begins to thicken. At this point, add about 1/4 cup of powdered sugar, continuing to beat until it reaches the thickness you desire.
What foods hold a special memory for you?
Do you have a favorite strawberry recipe?