This is generally a summertime treat, but since strawberries are available in the grocery store year-round, it’s a good dessert for any special occasion. Don made this lovely treat for us early this summer before local strawberries were available.
You don’t have to stick with strawberries. Use this shortcake recipe for any berry or fruit shortcake. We have had it with a mixed berries (raspberries, blackberries) and it is terrific with mangoes!
8-10 4-inch shortcakes
2 c. all-purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbls. sugar
6 Tbls. cold, unsalted butter (or vegetable shortening)
2/3 c. Half & Half
1 egg (beaten and mixed with Half & Half)
Position a rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450F degrees.
Mix flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Drop in butter. Cut butter with 2 knives or a pastry blender, tossing the pieces with the flour mixture to coat and separate them. For fluffy classic shortbread, continue to cut in the butter until the mixture resembles course breadcrumbs. Do not allow the butter to melt or form a paste with the flour. Add the half and half/egg mixture all at once. Mix with a wooden spoon until most of the dry ingredients are moistened. With a lightly floured hand, gather the dough into a ball and knead it gently against the sides and bottom of the bowl 5 to 10 times, turning and pressing any loose pieces into the dough each time until they adhere and the bowl is very clean.
Roll out dough a scant 3/4-inch thick. Cut into 4-inch rounds. Place the shortcakes on a large ungreased baking sheet at least 1 inch apart for crusty sides. For browner tops, brush the tops of the biscuits with milk or melted butter. Bake until golden brown on the bottom, 10 to 12 minutes.
After baking, cool and split the biscuits horizontally with a fork before filling. Top with sliced strawberries, sweetened with a little sugar, and fresh whipped cream. Yum!