New England Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake
It’s June again, and in New England that only means one thing — juicy, ripe strawberries and plates of strawberry shortcake at strawberry festivals and dinner tables from Maine to Connecticut. A few years ago I made my first batch of old-fashioned strawberry shortcake (Summer Strawberry Shortcake) but this time around I wanted to go the more traditional route with the shortcake, shaping it into one large cake rather than individual ones.
Recently, Yankee Wed Editor Brenda Darroch and I were talking about the ever-growing popularity of those pre-packaged sponge cake “dessert shells” you so often see alongside the strawberries in the supermarket. Sure, they’re convenient, but shortcake they are not! This version of old-fashioned strawberry shortcake is the real deal.
Let’s start with a quart of fresh, seasonal strawberries.
After slicing and sugaring the berries, I got to work on the shortcake. It’s made pretty much made the same way as scones (adding cold butter and milk into a dough made from flour, sugar, baking powder, and a pinch of salt), but instead of cutting the dough into individual portions I lightly pressed it into a greased pie pan.
While it baked I whipped the cream. Again — canned whip cream is easier, but if you take an extra few minutes to whip your own cream with a little sugar and vanilla extract, you’ll be handsomely rewarded.
I cut a wedge of shortcake, split it, and topped it with the sweetened berries and whipped cream. Now THIS is what summer is supposed to taste like! Make a batch while the berries are ripe and I promise you won’t regret it.
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