grown up strawberry shortcake

At least once a year I get a request for strawberry shortcake.  Nothing short of shortcake will do.  And  now, of course, summer is upon us.  In the past, I’ll admit to having cut corners with store-bought sponge cakes (the description is sadly accurate), or a pound cake mix.  But in my quest to avoid as many pre-packaged, overly-processed products as possible, I decided to do a homemade biscuit this year.  What I wanted to avoid was anything too spongy, too sweet, too dense.  I found these biscuits in one of my older issues of Cook’s Illustrated.
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They’re perfect.
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Brushed with melted butter and sparkling sugar before baking, then drenched in juicy berries, homemade whipped cream, and drizzled with chocolate, this is strawberry shortcake all grown up.  But kids love it, too.
Buttermilk Biscuits
adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, July 2004

2 C flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 ½ C buttermilk
Additional flour
2 Tbsp melted butter for brushing tops before baking

Sparkling sugar

Preheat oven to 500ºF. Spray a 9 inch springform or cake pan with some nonstick spray.

Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt to a bowl and mix the ingredients together evenly. Using a fork or pastry blender, cut in the butter until the pieces are no bigger than a small pea. Fold in the buttermilk until everything is just blended, and there are no streaks of flour remain. Do not overmix, the mixture should still be lumpy.

Line a plate or tray with some flour and using a 1/4 C measuring cup or 1/4 C ice cream/cookie scoop, scoop out balls of the dough onto the tray of flour. Flour your hands and roll each ball around in the flour to evenly coat them in a layer of flour. The dough is very wet and very sticky. Place the dough balls into the prepared pan. Place 9 balls around in a ring and 3 balls in the center of the pan. Brush the tops of the biscuits with melted butter and sprinkle with sparkling sugar.

Bake for 5 minutes at 500ºF (middle rack) and then lower the temperature to 450ºF and bake for another 15 minutes. Should make 12 (you can halve this recipe to make only 6 biscuits).

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One response

  1. Just back from North, the berries are at least 2 wks away and are my fav food in the world and you you have to post this…
    No fair.

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