Easy Strawberry Shortcake Recipe
This easy strawberry shortcake recipe resembles a biscuit or scone. It's light and crumbly and is delicately sweetened so as not to compete with the natural sweetness and flavor of the strawberries.
The function of fat (butter, cream, shortening) in pastry is to make it fluffy and light. When a dough recipe calls for a large percentage of fat to dry ingredients it is said to be "short" and bakes up with a crumbly texture. And that, in a nutshell, is where the term "shortcake" comes from.
Now it's time to try your hand at mastering this easy strawberry shortcake recipe. It can be made either as six individual cakes or one 8-inch shortcake. You can use any fruit in season for your filling, but strawberry shortcake recipes are the honored tradition!
5 cups sliced strawberries
6 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon milk (if needed)
Two hours before serving time, slice the strawberries. Mash one cup of the berries with a potato masher and mix with the rest of the sliced berries. Sprinkle the 6 tablespoons of sugar over this mixture, stir a few times and store at room temperature until ready to serve.
Whip the cream into soft peaks, adding sugar while whipping. Add vanilla. Refrigerate until serving time.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. If you've decided to prepare an 8-inch cake, butter the cake pan.
Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar, Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. Combine the beaten egg with the cream and pour over the dry ingredients all at once. Stir briefly just until miture comes together. If mixture seems dry, stir in the optional tablespoon of milk.
For the 8-inch shortcake: press the dough lighly into the buttered cake pan, leaving the edges slightly higher than the center. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on rack for 5 minutes.
For individual shortcakes: turn the dough out on a floured surface and knead and fold 6 times. Gently pat the dough into a thickness of one inch. Cut 3-inch rounds using a cookie cutter. Gather the scraps together and knead lightly until you have at least 6 rounds and have used all the dough. Place rounds on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving an inch of space between each round. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes after baking.
To serve this easy shortcake recipe, split and butter each round. Spoon strawberries and whipped cream between the layers and on the cake top. Serve while warm.
Hint: To make splitting the 8-inch shortcake easier, stick 6-8 toothpicks into the side of the cake going all around it. (Should look like a sun with rays). Using a serrated knife, cut through the cake using the toothpicks as your guide. Presto! You have your two layers of genuine strawberry shortcake!
For more recipe ideas, log on to Amazon.com and browse the bookshelves for your favorite cookbook.
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