INDIVIDUAL STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKES (Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
I love the idea of this dessert for boating – you make the shortcake part in advance (a day or two) and then place them in an airtight container. Then mix up the strawberries and place them in a plastic container. Finally whip up some whipping cream and put that in a 3rd plastic container. Place the strawberries and cream in a cooler and when you’re ready to enjoy dessert, just assemble and enjoy. It’ll be a nice, cool dessert that doesn’t weigh you down.
This recipe for strawberry shortcake might possibly be THE best one there is! I love strawberry shortcake but find that usually the “shortcake” part is dry and sort of tasteless. You need the strawberry juices to seep into the “cake” to give it any flavor. I typically eat the strawberries and cream and call it a day. BUT – that was before I tried this version! OMG! The shortcake is absolutely divine and when you combine the flavors of the tangy strawberries (with a bit of lemon) and the creamy whipped cream (with a bit of vanilla) – just wow!
The best part about this version is that you make the shortcake part in advance (a day or two) and then place them in an airtight container. Then mix up the strawberries and place them in a plastic container. Finally whip up some whipping cream and put that in a 3rd plastic container. Place the strawberries and cream in a cooler and when you’re ready to enjoy dessert, just assemble and enjoy. It’ll be a nice, summery, cool dessert that wont weigh you down.
1 2/3 cups flour
3 1/2 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP plus 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 hard-boiled egg yolks
1/8 tsp salt
6 TBSP cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tsp lemon or orange zest (optional)
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 pound strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered
2 TBSP sugar
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 cup whipping cream, beaten to soft peaks~ 3-4 minutes (with 2 TBSP powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla added at the end)
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, egg yolks, and salt. Pulse to combine.
Add the butter and zest, if using, and pulse until the flour resembles coarse meal. Add 2/3 cup of cream and pulse until the dough comes together.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gather into a mass. Knead a couple times to make it into a mass and then pat it into a rough circle about 6 to 7 inches in diameter, and 3/4 to 1-inch thick.
Using a sharp knife, cut the circle into 6 wedges and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. OR— use a cookie cutter to make shapes of your choice (my dough made 7 cookie cutter shapes plus an irregular one leftover – that will be put to good use I assure you!). Chill for 20 minutes (and up to 2 hours).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Brush the tops of the shortcakes very lightly with heavy cream and sprinkle lightly with the coarse sugar.
Bake until risen and golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes (mine took 20). Turn the pan around halfway through to ensure even cooking.
If you’re not baking the shortcakes in advance, while the shortcakes are baking, toss the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice together in a bowl. Let stand several minutes (or refrigerate until serving). And whip the cream (about 3-4 minutes) until soft peaks form. Then mix in 1 tsp vanilla and about 2 TBSP powdered sugar (to give it a tad of sweetness).
Spooned into a plastic container and ready to transport:
TO ASSEMBLE THE STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKES:
Split the shortcakes in half horizontally and set the tops aside. Place the bottoms on dessert plates and heap strawberries over them. Spoon whipped cream generously over the strawberries and replace the shortcake tops. Serve immediately with any remaining whipped cream on the side.
*If making a bit in advance, bake the shortcakes then allow them to cool. Place in an airtight container and then serve as directed above when you’re ready! I’m making mine in advance, placing them in a container and then putting the whipped cream and strawberries in 2 other plastic containers to transport. Easy peasy to put the strawberry shortcakes together on the boat!
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