i always shy away from biscuit related things because i anticipate a lot of kneading and rising and rolling and cutting. not so! really, this couldn't be easier. there are three components here: the shortcake, whipped cream (don't let me catch you using anything out of a can!), and the fruit. the shortcake came from, no surprise, mark bittman. i chose his recipe over the others because he actually stated it was okay to use lowfat milk (i would have done it anyways). even though i used spelt flour, which tends to have a denser texture than other flours, the biscuits were perfectly crisp on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside. i enjoy my whipped cream with some sugar and vanilla. DO NOT use lack of an electric mixer as an excuse not to make it yourself. make sure the cream is extra cold and use a metal bowl, it really doesn't take long, i promise. the fruit (you can get creative but we used strawberries and blueberries) should be stirred together with some sugar (amount depends on the sweetness of the fruit). allow it to sit until it gets all juicy and happy looking. we added some lemon zest to the fruit (thank you, friend number two & co.) and it really brought it all home.
new name: better than sex shortcake.
mark bittman's real strawberry shortcake
- 6 cups cleaned and sliced strawberries (or a combo of other fruit; we used strawberries and blueberries)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 cups flour
- Pinch salt
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 4 tablespoons cold butter
- 7/8 cup milk (low-fat is all right)
- sweetened whipped cream
- preheat the oven to 450 degrees. toss fruit with 1 cup sugar (use less if the fruit is particularly sweet). mix remaining sugar with flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl.
- cut the butter into bits, and cut into or run with your fingers into the dry ingredients, until the mix is crumbly.
- slowly add the milk to the bowl, stirring it in with a large spoon until the mixture forms a ball. the mixture should be sticky; use a little more or less milk if necessary. drop mixture onto an ungreased baking sheet, one heaping tablespoon per cake.
- bake about 10 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown. (keep an eye on them; once browning starts, it goes quickly.) let cool a bit; top with strawberries and their juices and the whipped cream.
yield: 12 servings.