Sometimes I get an overwhelming urge to cook or bake something. It’s like a pregnancy craving, but I’m not pregnant. Just hungry for some homemade strawberry shortcake. Luckily, I had a pretty marvelous cookbook with a simple and delicious recipe for just this dish. I joined a Cookbook Swap a few months ago and received Baking Illustrated. My anonymous pen pal knows me so well. I love all the drawings and straightforward recipes in this cook book. I’ve never found a recipe that needs any tweaking, other than when I’m feeling creative.
This recipe is super simple to follow but I only half read part of it and accidentally mashed some of my berries a little too much. The Beard politely asked “do you need to save any of those?” as I’m smooshing away in the kitchen. Whoops. Luckily, a little extra mashed strawberries never really hurt anyone. Plus, I just had some extra strawberry simple syrup to drizzle on my shortcakes. No one is complaining here.
I typically have an aversion to fruit featured crust-type desserts. I am frightened by the gelatinous fake filling that you find at family holiday potlucks. Bleh, just talking about it makes me want to gag. Getting on my soapbox here, but if you are going to make a homemade dessert, why half a** it with the goopy grossness? Mashing up these fresh strawberries just takes an extra five or so minutes. Plus, if you have kiddos who are big enough, just make them do it while you sit back and sip on some wine. That’s my daily parenting tip for you all, enjoy.
Mmm, these shortcakes were perfect. I’m pretty sure you all already know my love for making fresh dough. I think it just smells so amazing. I know everyone has a different opinion on how to make their strawberry shortcake and I totally respect those differences. Today, we are making a sweet, biscuit-like dough for our dessert. The main difference is that you add eggs to this dough when you add the whole milk. Honestly, I wouldn’t use my Kitchen Aid mixer for this dough. It’s way easier to just do it by hand and with a rubber spatula. You really don’t want to overmix it, which you can easily do in a stand mixer. If you overmix your shortcake dough, it will be tough and not flaky and beautiful like you really want with those strawberries.
I have zero skill when it comes to judging sizes while baking. I think an inch is always way smaller than it really is and then my baked goods turn out shrimpy. Luckily, I have a husband who constantly double checks my work so I don’t end up in tears when my biscuits look like crackers. Not saying that’s happened (it has) but, if you don’t want it to happen to you, whip out a ruler. You want the dough to be about 3/4 – 1 inch thick, feel free to make them larger!
Look how shiny those shortcake tops are right out of the oven. I slathered them with egg white and tossed a heaping amount of sugar on top. I just used granulated white sugar, but if you wanted to get fancier, you could totally use some coarse white sugar. I’d be careful with brown sugar, it might burn from the heat of the oven. You can all three of these pieces (shortcakes, strawberries, whipped cream) ahead of time and store in separate containers. But, once you put the berries and whipped cream on top, you’ll want to eat immediately. Well, after you snap a pic of your strawberry shortcake and #thebeardandthebaker on it!
- 2 pints of fresh strawberries
- 6 Tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 5 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 Tablespoons VERY cold butter, cut into 1/2 in cubes
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1/2 cup plus 1 Tablespoon whole milk
- 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
- Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Hull strawberries and cut in half. Take about 1/3 of the strawberries and mash with a potato masher until juicy and perfectly muddled.
- Add remaining strawberries halves.
- Stir in sugar. Set aside, in fridge.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a food processor, pulse the flour, 3 Tablespoons of sugar, baking powder, and salt until combined. Scatter the butter cubes over and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 15 1-second pulses. Transfer to a medium bowl.
- In a separate small mixing bowl, mix the beaten egg with the whole milk. Pour the egg/milk mixture into the flour mixture.
- Combine with a rubber spatula until large clumps form. Transfer to a floured surface.
- Using your hands, pat the dough into a 9x6-inch rectangle about 3/4 inch thick. Be careful not to overwork the dough.
- Flour a 2 1/4 inch biscuit cutter and cut into 6-8 dough rounds. Place the rounds on a baking sheet, about 1 inch apart.
- Brush the tops of the shortcakes with the beaten egg white then sprinkle with the remaining two Tablespoons of sugar.
- Bake until the shortcakes are golden brown, about 12-14 minutes. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack.
- When ready to eat, split the shortcakes in half, spoon a heaping amount of strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream on top.
- Freeze mixer bowl and whisk for 10 minutes.
- Pour heavy whipping cream, vanilla and sugar in mixing bowl.
- Mix on level 6 for 4-5 minutes until soft peaks form. You'll know it's ready when you can remove the whisk, hold it upside down and it stays put.