Sunday, May 16, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake

From The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook


2 quarts of strawberries, hulled

6 tablespoons sugar

For the fruit: Crush 3 cups of the strawberries with a potato masher.  Slice the remaining 5 cups of berries and stir into the crushed berries along with the sugar.  Let sit at room temperature until the sugar has dissolved and the berries are juicy, about 30 minutes.


2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for the counter

5 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes and chilled
2/3 cup half-and-half

1 large egg lightly beaten
1 large egg white lightly beaten

For the shortcakes:  While the berries macerate, adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to  425 degrees.  Pulse together the flour, 3 tablespoons of the sugar, the baking powder, and salt in a food processor until combined.  Scatter the butter pieces over the top and process until the mixture resembles course cornmeal.  Transfer to a bowl.

Blend the half-and-half with the beaten egg an pour into the bowl with the flour mixture.  Stir with a rubber spatula until large clumps form. Turn the mixture onto a lightly floured counter and knead lightly until the dough comes together.

Use your fingertips to pat the dough into a 9 by 6-inch rectangle about one inch thick.  Cut out 6 dough rounds using a floured 2 3/4 inch biscuit cutter.  Reform the remaining dough and complete cutting rounds.  You should get about 8 -10 rounds.  Place rounds one inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet, brush the tops with the beaten egg white, and sprinkle with the remaining two tablespoons of sugar.

Bake the shortcakes until golden brown, 12-14 minutes.  Let the shortcakes cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes.


1 cup heavy cream chilled

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whip the cream, sugar and vanilla in a chilled bowl with an electric mixer on low speed until frothy and the sugar has dissolved, about 1 minute.  Increase the speed to high and continue to whip until doubled in volume and soft peaks form, 1-3 minutes.

To assemble: Split each biscuit in half, laying the biscuit bottoms on individual plates. Spoon a portion of the fruit over each bottom, then top with a dollop of the whipped cream.  Cap with the biscuit tops.

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