Now that it’s spring, local strawberries are readily available in grocery stores and farmer’s markets. There is a huge difference between the strawberries that are available year round and locally grown strawberries: the locally grown strawberries not only look like strawberries, they also smell and taste like strawberries! “Real” Strawberry Shortcake is a perfect dessert to show off these delicious strawberries.
When I say “real” strawberry shortcake, I’m not referring to pound, angel food, or sponge cake covered with strawberries and whipped cream. In fact, even though pound, angel food, or sponge cake covered with strawberries and whipped cream is a great dessert, it should be referred to as pound, angel food, or sponge cake covered with strawberries and whipped cream (not strawberry shortcake because it isn’t strawberry shortcake)!
Shortcake has been around for hundreds of years; Shakespeare was familiar with shortcake since he mentions it in his play, The Merry Wives of Windsor. (Act 1 Scene 1) I’m pretty sure Shakespeare wasn’t referring to those little sponge cakes sold near the strawberries in the produce department! Nor was he referring to pound or angel food cake. Shortcake is actually a light, crumbly scone or biscuit containing butter or shortening. “Short,” according to : Kitchen Project, comes from ”the term "to shorten," a 15th century term which meant, "easily crumbled”.” Most experts agree that the best real shortcakes contain eggs, sugar, and heavy cream, which make them very rich and delicious.
Luckily for busy cooks everywhere, real strawberry shortcake is not difficult to make, and it can be put together in about 10 –15 minutes of hands-on time. I usually make the dough before I serve dinner; I also slice the strawberries and let them macerate with a little sugar, and whip the cream. When everyone is almost finished eating, all I have to do is pop the shortcakes in the oven; they will be ready to split, butter, and cover with strawberries and cream just as everyone is finishing dinner.
The following recipe for strawberry shortcake is the one my Mother made when I was growing up. After sampling many versions of strawberry shortcake over the years, I’m convinced that it is still the best, and after you prepare it, I think you’ll agree.
Coy Burgie’s Incredibly Delicious “Real” Strawberry Shortcake
4 to 6 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
3/4 to 1 cup sugar, (according to taste and the sweetness of the fruit)
2 cups flour
4 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup whipping cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter
Mix the strawberries and sugar; set aside until the sugar is dissolved in the juices, stirring occasionally.
Mix the flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into pieces and cut it in until it looks like small peas. Mix the egg and whipping cream, pour it into the flour mixture, and mix well.
Transfer the mixture to a floured surface and pat or roll into a circle 8" in diameter and about 1" thick. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and cut into 8 wedges.
Place the wedges on a parchment-lined baking sheet without crowding. Bake in a preheated 400° oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
Meanwhile, whip the heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form; sprinkle in the powdered sugar and continue whipping until stiff.
Assembly: Remove the shortcakes from the oven; place each one on a serving dish, split and spread liberally with butter. Spoon some of the strawberry mixture over the bottom biscuit and place the top biscuit over the strawberries. Top with whipped cream and serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 597 Calories from Fat 332
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 56% Protein 4% Carb. 41%
Nutrient Amount per
Total Fat 37 g
Saturated Fat 22 g
Cholesterol 141 mg
Sodium 481 mg
Total Carbohydrate 61 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 6 g
Vitamin A 29% Vitamin C 71% Calcium 0% Iron 5%