Monday, May 15, 2017

Strawberry Shortcakes

Strawberry picking is one of my favorite activities because strawberries are one of my favorite fruits. We went picking the day before Mother's Day, and I wasn't sure how the berry patch would be. Our weather this spring has been unusually cool and wet. Typically in May we're complaining of the heat and make a point to hit the strawberry fields early in the morning before it gets too hot. But this year, we actually waited until late morning because it was so cool -- the temperature was only in the upper 50s! But I'm not complaining. I've been loving our weather this spring. It's nice to have more typical spring weather instead of jumping right into summer.

Due to all the rain we've been getting, we found that quite a few strawberries were sitting in water on the black plastic the farmers use to minimize weeds. So many berries were going bad before they could be picked. Fortunately, there are still many berries perfectly ripe and ready for picking. Together, Paul and I picked three gallons and we purchased one gallon of pre-picked, which is $12 compared to $10 for pick-your-own. 

Once home, I had to get busy cleaning and hulling all the berries. I freeze the majority of them for use in smoothies year-round. We're just now on our last bag of strawberries from last year's crop.

Some strawberries I'm not freezing so we can enjoy them fresh, like in this strawberry shortcake recipe. I've made these several times over the years using regular flour, prior to learning that I'm wheat-intolerant. So this weekend I made the shortcakes using Cup 4 Cup gluten-free flour.  The results were excellent! I was so happy with the texture of the shortcakes and the flavor. They were perfect!

Strawberry Shortcake

1-3/4 lbs (6 cups) strawberries, rinsed, hulled and quartered
1-1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour (or Cup 4 Cup or other gluten-free flour)
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
2 cups heavy cream
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss strawberries with 3/4 cup sugar; set aside.

2) In a food processor, pulse flour, baking powder, 1/2 cup sugar and salt until combined. Add butter and pulse about 10 to 12 times until mixture resembles coarse meal, but with some pea-sized bits of butter remaining.

3) In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup cream and the eggs. Pour over the flour mixture in the food processor and pulse until some large clumps begin to form, about 25 to 30 times.

4) Using a half-cup dry-measure cup, gently pack dough, turn over and tap dough out onto a baking sheet. Repeat to form 8 --or in my case, 9 -- biscuits.

5) Bake until lightly golden, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool, about 15 minutes. 

6) In a medium bowl, beat remaining 1-1/2 cups heavy cream, 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla extract on medium-high speed with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.

7) To serve, slice biscuits in half horizontally. Spoon some of the strawberries and their juices over the bottom halves of biscuits. Dollop some whipped cream over the berries and place the top halves of biscuits at an angle over the top of the shortcakes.

Here's my little helper, Ella, who was pretty tuckered out from a long walk she had been on that morning. She loves to stay in the kitchen with me as I'm cooking, hoping for a little morsel. But she's not a big fan of strawberries, so she decided to take a nap instead.

1 comment:

  1. Those look wonderful! Our strawberry season will probably start at the end of June this year, so I'll be giving this one a try later. We've had a really cold and wet spring so far.

    Little Ella sure does look tuckered out. Does she get allergies in the spring? I've had to put Odie on antihistamines this spring because he was licking and scratching himself incessantly. So far, it's working. Fingers crossed!


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