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Strawberry Shortcake
Makes 8 Servings
*2 cups flour
*3 tbls. sugar
*1/2 tsp. salt
*4 tsps. baking powder
*1/2 lb. chilled butter
*1/3 cup heavy cream
*1 lb. fresh strawberries
*2 tbls. sugar
*1/2 cup orange juice
*1 bunch fresh mint, chopped and whole for garnish
*1 cup heavy cream for whipping
1FOR THE SHORTCAKES: Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
2Work the butter into the mixture using a pastry cutter or two knives (as for pie dough) until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Stir in cream until it is just incorporated. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead briefly for about 30 seconds.
3Roll the dough out on a floured board to 3/4 inch thick. Cut into rounds 2 inches across (a juice glass makes a good cutter) and set on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Brush with a little cream and sprinkle with sugar.
4Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
5WHILE THE SHORTCAKES ARE BAKING, PREPARE THE STRAWBERRIES: Stem and wash the berries briefly under cold water. Cut the berries into medium slices. Put berries in a glass bowl and sprinkle them with sugar, orange juice and chopped mint.
6In a clean mixing bowl, whip the cream.
7To serve: carefully cut the tops off the shortcakes and reheat both halves in a hot oven for 1 1/2 minutes. Put the bottoms onto a serving platter and spoon the strawberries over them. Spoon a little whipped cream on the strawberries and replace the tops. Garnish with additional mint leaves.
Gordon Hamersley of Hamersley's Bistro, Boston, MA.