Strawberries Always Fill My Heart with Joy: Happy National Strawberry Shortcake Day!

It’s that time of year for strawberries! And today at Kathey Jo’s Kitchen, I’m going to tell you all about this versatile fruit. Did you know that shortcake is a sweet biscuit? You make it with flour, sugar, baking powder or soda, salt, butter, milk or cream, and sometimes eggs. Today’s shortcakes use biscuit or sponge cake as the base. In early American recipes, the pie crust was in the round or broken up. This style remains in the South.

What’s great about the shortcake dessert is that you can use peaches, blueberry, chocolate, or any other filling. It’s also common to see a recipe that recommends flavoring the shortcake with coconut. The way that people know shortcake in America varies in the U.K. where it’s known as shortbread.

The most famous dessert is – obviously – strawberry shortcake.

Strawberry Shortcake

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 pounds strawberries, stemmed and quartered
  • Five tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Two teaspoons baking powder

 

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Two tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • Whipped Cream:
    • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
    • Three tablespoons sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • One teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mix strawberries with three tablespoons sugar and refrigerate while juices develop at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, remaining two tablespoons sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add heavy cream and mix until just combined. Place mixture in an ungreased 8-inch square pan and bake until golden, 18 to 20 minutes.
  4. Remove shortcake from pan and place on a rack to cool slightly. Cut into six pieces and split each piece in half horizontally.
  5. Spoon some of the strawberries with their juice onto each shortcake bottom. Top with a generous dollop of whipped cream and then the shortcake top. Spoon more strawberries over the top and serve.

To make the whipped cream:

  1. Using a mixer, beat the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest until soft peaks form, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

Peach Shortcake

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • Four teaspoons baking powder
  • One teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup or 1 stick very cold unsalted butter — cut into small pieces
  • One egg — beaten
  • 1/3 cup cold milk
  • Four ripe peaches
  • Two teaspoons sugar
  • Three tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Three tablespoons dark rum
  • Whipped cream

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8×8 inch pan and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor or a large mixing bowl, sift flour with sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Add butter and lightly pulse (or cut in the butter by hand), until the butter is the size of small peas. Add well-beaten egg and milk, until incorporated.
  3. Quickly press the batter into the prepared pan, touching it as little as possible with your fingers to keep the butter cold. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the top, is lightly golden. Cut into squares.
  4. Cut a small “X” on the bottom of each peach. Slip into a large pot of boiling water. Boil for about 30 seconds, then remove with a slotted spoon and submerge immediately in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Slip off the skins with your fingers, then slice peaches.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the sliced peaches and two teaspoons granulated sugar. Set aside. In a separate small bowl, combine the melted butter and rum.

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