Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake

This year's Easter dinner was much like last year's, except that I spent much of the morning baking two small loaves of whole wheat bread plus biscuits for dessert, rather than relying on my brother to hit the bakery on the way over. While YiaYia's stuff is quite good, homemade is always better.

One of the foodie pages I follow on Facebook gave me the idea to serve strawberry shortcake for Easter, so I was happy to see that the Giant had a bogo sale on 1-lb boxes of berries. I picked them up on Friday, along with the vital wheat gluten I was going to need for my bread, forgetting the second most-important element of strawberry shortcake.

The whipped cream. Hence the obviously-canned variety festooning my biscuit. Thanks to Dad for bringing it over. :)

You're probably going to say that the most important part of something called "strawberry shortcake" is obviously the shortcake, but honestly, have you eaten berries on top of a biscuit without that crown of white? Or even a scoop of vanilla ice cream? A drizzle of cream? (Ok, I have, but it had pork belly on it instead.) Kinda doesn't cut it.

In any case, my shortcakes were pretty delicious. I used a fairly basic scone recipe and added cornmeal for extra texture and flavor. They turned out light and fluffy, and were the perfect whipped-cream-to-mouth vehicle.

Perfect Shortcakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter cut into small pieces
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 6-cup muffin tin.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using your fingers or a pastry blender, rub in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk, stirring just until mixed.

Divide (very sticky) dough into 6 balls and place one each into prepared muffin tin cups. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until browned on top. Remove from muffin tin and allow to cool on a wire rack until ready to use.

Using a serrated knife, split cakes horizontally. Top with chopped strawberries macerated with a little lemon juice and sugar (or any other fruit you might like) and lots of whipped cream or slightly melty vanilla ice cream.

Posted by theminx on