Strawberry Shortcake

strawberry-panier

I love food. I love cooking. I love baking. I even sometimes love grocery shopping. I love learning about new foods, and I’m game to try anything once. I often try new recipes, and sometimes they turn out great, but sometimes I don’t do something quite right. Sometimes, though, the recipe is just disappointing– it isn’t worth my time, effort or the money spent on the ingredients.

Not only do I plan to share my cooking and baking adventures here, but I’m going to share my honest, not so sugar-coated opinion of the results. Is this food worth it? We’re busy people, and making something lackluster that was supposed to be great is one of the biggest letdowns in life. Sometimes you know when a meal you make just isn’t going to be so good, but I hope to help you avoid the letdowns and find the successes in your kitchen.

This recipe is a success: I don’t think there is any way it could ever fail. It’s a summer staple in my family; no one can resist my grandmother’s strawberry shortcakes. A lightly sweetened biscuit, syrupy strawberries and ice cream. I don’t think there’s anything better than sitting on a porch, eating those three things piled on top of each other.

shortcake

I went strawberry picking this morning and picked a ton of berries–about 7 pounds. I’m actually thinking of going back and getting more next weekend because it was so much fun, but that might be too many berries for two people, even if I freeze a lot of them.

trio

Since I have this abundance of strawberries, there is no better way to eat them than shortcake. Even if you don’t go berry picking, I think this is the best, simplest berry dessert you can make. It’s 100% worth it.

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Shortcakes:
from my grandma

five-stars
makes 8 shortcakes

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter
1 beaten egg
⅔ cup milk

1. Sift together dry ingredients. Cut in butter with pastry blender (or with flat beater in stand mixer) until it looks like damp sand.

2. Combine egg and milk. Add to dry ingredients, stirring only to moisten.

3. Scoop out onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet in ½ cup portions, evenly spaced. Bake at 450 F for 10 to 12 minutes (according to Grandma’s recipe. In my oven, it’s about 16…maybe I just like bigger desserts than normal).

Strawberries:

Strawberries
Sugar

You really can’t go wrong–I did maybe four cups strawberries and one cup sugar, but I think I overdid it a little on the sugar. I froze a couple batches of strawberries for future use, slicing about three cups strawberries and adding 1/2 cup sugar straight into a freezer bag, squishing the sugar into the strawberries through the bag to combine. Then I popped them immediately into the freezer.

1. Cut strawberries lengthwise. Mix with sugar, squishing some with a fork. The mixture will get syrupy.

2. Cover and refrigerate for later use.

To serve, let shortcakes cool, and then cut in half. Spoon enough strawberries over the bottom half of the shortcake to cover it, remembering to use some of the syrup too. Top with a scoop of ice cream. Add the top half of the shortcake, and spoon a few strawberries and a little bit a syrup over the top.

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