Sunday Baking: Classic Strawberry Shortcake

April 22, 2012

Classic strawberry shortcake is must-make spring dessert. Homemade fluffy cream scones are sliced in half and filled with juicy strawberries and rich whipped cream.  To make this the dessert the most delicious it can be, you'll want to use the best strawberries you can find.  This usually means visiting your local farmer's market and tasting the different strawberry varietals available.  One you have mastered the scones, you can replace the strawberries with any seasonal fruit and you will have a versatile dessert that you can make year round.

Strawberry Shortcake

Ingredients:

1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg, lightly beaten
 
Egg wash:
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon cream
 
2 pounds fresh strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup sugar
 
Topping:
1 tablespoon sugar
 
Directions:
 
Scones: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and place rack in middle of oven. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
 
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend the butter pieces into the flour mixture until the texture is like coarse crumbs.
 
Whisk together the egg, cream and vanilla and add to the flour mixture. Mix just until the dough comes together, taking care to not over mix.
 
Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead dough gently four or five times and then pat or roll the dough into a circle that is about 1 inch thick. With a 3 inch round cookie cutter, cut out rounds and place the scones on the baking sheet.
 
In a small bowl, lightly beat one egg and 1 tablespoon of cream, then brush the tops of the scones with the egg wash.
 
Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of a scone comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack.
 
Filling: Wash and slice the strawberries. Place them in a large bowl, add the sugar and set aside at room temperature. Allow them to macerate for about 30 to 60 minutes.
 
For whipped cream: In a large mixing bowl place the whipping cream, vanilla, and sugar and whip until stiff peaks form.
 
To serve: Cut the scones in half and place the bottom half of the scone (soft side up) on a dessert plate. Top with some of the strawberries. Place the top half of the scone on the strawberries. Top with whipped cream and a few more strawberries. Drizzle any remaining juice over the top of the scone. Serve immediately.

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