If my posts seem weighted toward strawberries these days, it's because we're in the thick of strawberry season here - and what strawberry season doesn't include strawberry shortcake?
I decided to try a new recipe this year and I really enjoyed it - except that I was baking and visiting at the same time and ended up swapping the liquid ingredients, using a higher ratio of milk to cream. So it's hard to say whether I like the original recipe or the amended version better. Either way, I think it's a good recipe to add to your collection. Flecks of orange zest adds a nice brightness to the shortcake and the berries macerate in a mixture of orange juice and sugar as well.
The recipe comes from Virginia Willis' cookbook, Bon Appétit, Y'all. She mentions serving these shortcakes to President Clinton. I figure if they're good enough to serve a President, they're good enough for me. You can also supplement or substitute the strawberries for peaches and blueberries.
(makes 8-10 shortcakes)
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/3 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt (I substituted kosher salt)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
Grated zest of 1 orange, or 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing (I used 1/2 cup heavy cream)
1/2 cup whole milk (I used 1 cup whole milk)
Turbinado, Demerara, or raw brown sugar, for sprinkling
BERRIES & GARNISH
2 pints strawberries, hulled and quartered lengthwise
Juice of 1 orange
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Whipped cream, for accompaniment
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking sheet or parchment.
2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed. Add the butter and zest, and mix on low until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 2 minutes. Add the cream and milk and increase the speed to medium; mix until the dough comes together. Remove the dough to a lightly floured surface, lightly knead a couple of times, and shape into a rectangle about 3/4 inch thick.
3. Use a 3-inch round cutter to cut dough circles. Place them on the prepared baking sheet; brush the tops lightly with cream and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Bake until the shortcakes are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
4. Meanwhile, to prepare the berries, place the strawberries in a bowl. Add the orange juice and granulated sugar. Set aside.
To serve - halve the strawberries horizontally with a serrated knife. Place the bottom halves on individual serving plates, top each with a dollop of whipped cream, then some berries, and another dollop of whipped cream. Cover with the tops of the shortcakes and serve.