Well, it’s the end of strawberry season around here and I bought a 2 litre basket of the sweetest, juiciest berries that I’ve had all season.
Unfortunately, I did not get a shot of the full basket before some animal got into them and left hulls and red juice all over the white container.
I did however remember to take some pictures with my iPhone while I was making this summer delight. I am never going to be a food photographer and I might as well just resign myself to that fact. I thought I owned a nice little Nikon 1v3 but it’s pretty elusive for something that is supposed to be stationary. I may have dreamed it but I see the empty boxes in the cupboard and every once in a while I get a glimpse of it resting in the back seat cupholder…
Which recipe should I use? Mr. G nixed the little angel food dessert cups you buy at the store and I did not want to use my mother’s secret recipe- Bisquick. I’d have to run out and get some, would not use the whole box, and it goes bad fairly quickly- yada yada yada. So I looked around on the net some and found this one at King Arthur Flour. I have good luck with their recipes (they make the ingredients so they should be awesome, right?) and I liked the fact that this one used either butter or shortening. I kind of thought the butter might be nice instead this time.
I made a few modifications of my own. They are reflected in the recipe included in this post. Not huge ones but they did produce a very yummy dessert!
You start out by slicing the strawberries (you could really use any berries in this and raspberries, blueberries and peaches are due soon), mashing half, adding the rest of them, sugar and lemon. Stir and let them have a siesta for an hour or so. (heck, have one yourself, you deserve it!) I use TRUE lemon often because real lemons are mucho dinero around here all the time. I get fresh ones with my Ottawa Organics order when I can but I prefer to use them in recipes that use them sliced or in drinks where looks count. The TRUE lemon are just these ingredients: Crystallized Lemon [citric acid*, lemon oil, lemon juice]. *Non-GMO No Preservatives Gluten Free
The lemon adds this lovely tartness and goes well with the sweetness of the berries and the sugar.
Next you whisk the dry ingredients together, add the liquids and knead the sticky goodness on a floured surface. I use a silicone mat. Pat it down to size.
Cut your circles.
And place on your parchment lined baking (cookie) sheet.
See how nice and sharp those babies look? One of the tips with the original recipe is to use a sharp cookie cutter instead of a glass. Back in the day, we always used a drinking glass for this kind of thing. It gives you a shorter more rounded top biscuit if you do that though. So I tried the cutter and boy oh boy they were taller when baked and picture perfect. (where is that camera when I need it?)
Baked and beautiful.
Hmm, looks like a few are missing already?!
Make the whipped cream and assemble when cooled.
- 2 quarts/litres fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp True Lemon* or 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 3½ c all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ c dried buttermilk powder
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- ½ c butter, cold
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 c milk, 1 %, room temperature
- -Whipped Cream
- 1 c whipping cream, icy cold (organic if you can get it)
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- Mash half of the strawberries in a bowl. Add the remainder of the sliced berries, sugar and lemon. Stir and let that sit and ripen for an hour or so. Stir again.
- Preheat your oven to 425F regular oven or 400F convection.
- Whisk the next 6 dry ingredients in a bowl and work the cold butter into this with your hands or a pastry blender. (hands are my utensil of choice) It will be crumbly with pea sized bits in it.
- Whisk the vanilla, egg and milk together and add all in one go to the flour mixture. Stir to incorporate.
- On a lightly floured surface knead the dough 4 or 5 times. It should just hold together.
- Gather into a circle and flatten with your hand or a rolling pin ½" to 1" thick. Cut 2½" or 3" circles out and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. Thicker biscuits will take longer. Let them cool for 15 minutes before assembling.
- Whip the cream, icing sugar, and vanilla bean paste to get soft to medium peaks.
- Split the cooled biscuits, spoon berries and whipped cream on half and top with the remaining half.
- Lick out the whipped cream bowl when no-one is looking. Remember to wipe the evidence off your face before you bring the dessert in.
Don’t let anyone see you lick the juice off the plate. It is frowned upon in polite society. (According to someone I live with.) Enjoy your summer!