March 24, 2011

Strawberry Shortcakes.

We are getting together with family tonight & I volunteered to bring dessert. After making super rich chocolate mint brownies last week for St. Patrick's Day & then a chocolate peanut butter torte when we had friends over on Tuesday, I thought it would be best to make something lighter this time. I had a huge container of strawberries in my refrigerator that I needed to use sooner rather than later. So naturally, my thoughts drifted to strawberry shortcakes, one of my favorite light(er) desserts.

Now, I have made strawberry shortcakes a few times before, but I never was crazy about the shortcake recipe I used. It was alright, but not anything special. So today, I turned to one of my older cookbooks & decided to use their shortcake recipe, that I had bookmarked sometime ago.

I had a big oops when I was making this... When I "made" my buttermilk, I accidentally poured the entire cup of liquid into the flour mixture, instead of the 3/4 C the recipe called for. I didn't realize it until I turned out the dough to cut the shortcakes & had a sticky, wet mess in front of me. I would have just doubled the recipe, but I didn't have another cube of butter. So I improvised by adding more flour, until the dough seemed to be the right consistency, and then added just a touch of sugar to balance out the additional flour. But I didn't think to add more baking powder, so my shortcakes didn't rise like the should have. None of this impacted the taste (which was amazing), but it did mean that I couldn't cut my shortcakes in half and instead just used one flat shortcake for the top & one flat shortcake for the bottom.

Taste wise, this recipe blows my old one out of the water. I loved it. The shortcakes had just the right amount of sugar (which one was thing I didn't like about my old recipe - not sweet at all). And the lemon zest? Such a great addition. I loved tasting a bit of lemon with every bite. These are a perfect treat to welcome spring!

Strawberry Shortcakes
Williams-Sonoma Desserts

For the shortcakes:
1 2/3 C all purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp lemon zest
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 C cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 C buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

4 C strawberries, hulled and cut into slices
1/4 C sugar
Sweetened whipped cream

Preheat the oven to 400°.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, zest, and salt. Using a pastry blender (or your fingers), cut in the butter until the pieces are no larger than peas. Add the buttermilk and vanilla and gently toss with a rubber spatula until the flour is just moistened and the ingredients are blended.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gently press the dough into a thick rectangle about 6 x 4 inches. Trim the edges with a large sharp knife, then cut the dough into six equal squares.

Place the squares on an ungreased baking sheet, spacing them well apart. Bake until they are puffed and golden, 15-18 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack & cool slightly or completely.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, toss the strawberries and sugar. Cover the berries and refrigerate until well chilled, or until ready to use.

To serve, split the shortcakes in half horizontally and place the bottom halves, cut side up, on serving plates. Spoon some of the strawberries, including the juices, over each half and top with a dollop of whipped cream. Top with remaining shortcake halves, cut side down. Serve immediately.


Emily Curfew said...

Ooh la la. Strawberry shorthairs ARE my favorite dessert. I almost had this instead of wedding cake at our wedding. Ive always just made the recipe on the bisquik box- but I'll try this one the next time bc the lemon zest intrugues me. I miss driving by the Carlsbad strawberry fields!!

Uniflame said...

Ooooh this looks great!! I might try my hand at this when the strawberry season starts here :)

Michelle said...

I have loved every recipe I have tried of the Williams-Sonoma. I think I have this recipe in one of my books. Must try soon!

Trish said...

I have been meaning to comment on this post for a ridiculously long time! (PS--grateful for full feed in GR). This strawberry shortcake sounds absolutely delicious and your picture looks so professional looking!! Unfortunately Scott's allergic to fresh fruits and vegetables (yes, all), so I rarely get to indulge in this type of dessert unless someone else makes. Can I come over? ;)