Strawberry shortcake is the ultimate summer dessert. The concept is so simple: sweet strawberries and lightly sweetened whipped cream on top of a buttermilk biscuit ensures a dessert that is not too sweet but totally satisfying. The biscuit recipe is my old standby from America’s Test Kitchen. It is a no-fail recipe, always baking up light and fluffy. I like to add a small amount of orange liqueur to both the berries and the whipped cream but if you prefer you can omit entirely or substitute vanilla extract for the liqueur in the cream.
So go ahead and make this class summer treat. Wouldn’t it make a perfect addition to your upcoming Independence Day celebrations?
For the biscuits:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes and well chilled
3/4 cup cold buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Pulse the flours sugar, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade.
- Scatter the butter pieces evenly over the top of the flour mixture and pulse to combine, about 12 pulses.
- Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the buttermilk. Use a rubber spatula to fold the liquid into the flour until a soft and sticky dough forms.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and quickly roll in into a rough ball. Do not over mix.
- Use a sharp knife to divide the dough into 12 even pieces. Using your hands, quickly form each piece into a ball and place on a large baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the biscuits are browned and flaky.
For the strawberries:
1 quart strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup sugar, more to taste
1/8 cup Grand Marnier, or other orange liqueur
- Place the strawberries in a medium sized sauce pan set over low heat.
- Sprinkle with the sugar and the liqueur. Stir gently taking care not to break up the berries.
- Heat slowly, stirring occasionally until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Remove from the heat and transfer to a non-reactive bowl.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled.
For the whipped cream:
1 pint whipping cream
2 tablespoons super fine sugar
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier, or other orange liqueur
- Place the cream in a large chilled bowl.
- Using an electric mixer beat the cream on high speed until slightly thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the sugar and liqueur and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
- Cover tightly and chill until ready to serve.
To assemble the shortcakes:
- Split each biscuit in half and place on a plate.
- Place a tablespoon or two of berries on top of the bottom biscuit and top with a small dollop of whipped cream.
- Place the remaining biscuit half on top, add a drizzle of the strawberries and another dollop of whipped cream.
Yields: 12 shortcakes