Super Strawberry Shortcake
Updated: Jun 5, 2020
Have you ever looked at a picture of a meal and thought - wow that looks so good, I want to make that! Who hasn't? The hard part comes in re-creating it and matching the reality to the expectations. Strawberry shortcake is one of those desserts that can be done in so many different ways. Usually what you can find in the bakery section of your local grocery store is some version of sponge cake, fresh strawberries and whipped cream. While that is delicious, it doesn't give you that real shortcake experience. When executed traditionally shortcake should have a texture more similar to a biscuit-shortbread hybrid. This dessert initially originated in England during the 1500s, and has now made it's way around the world. Strawberry Shortcake Day is actually celebrated on June 14 - so mark your calendars.
As you can see from the picture above I made 6 massive shortcakes, which then are divided after cooking to create the top and bottom of your dessert. You can use this recipe and make them smaller when you cut them before baking. Also, you don't have to make rectangles, feel free to get out a biscuit cutter and make circular rounds. The one thing I will say is a necessity is using fresh lemon zest - it really makes the flavors pop and adds to the refreshing feeling this dessert will leave you with. You also don't need to be constricted by strawberries if that isn't something you have handy, or a fruit you like that much. This recipe is super adaptable and use you use peaches or blueberries. No matter what- I highly recommend you make your own whipped cream. It's so simple and really makes a huge difference over anything you can buy in the store.
Below you can find the recipe I used to make the shortcake. As far as the strawberries go, I used two pints of fresh berries, trimmed and cut. I took about 1/2 cup of the strawberries and crushed them to begin releasing the juices, then mixed up the crushed and cut berries with 1/4 cup of granulated sugar to macerate them. The juice they create is amazing and will soak into your shortcake when you assemble this dessert.
4 cups all purpose flour
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup butter, divided, room temperature
1 1/4 cups whipping cream
Zest of one lemon
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl sift together flour, 3 Tbsp sugar, salt and baking powder. Zest lemon directly into bowl and mix to incorporate. Cut 3/4 cup of butter into 1/2 Tbsp sized pieces and rub into flour mixture to create a soft mixture. Using a wooden spoon stir in the whipping cream to make a soft dough. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until incorporated. Melt remaining 1/4 cup of butter and reserve on the side for the next step.
2. Roll dough out to about a 1 inch thick square. Cut dough into four equal squares and stack on top of each other. Using your hands press down and create a rectangle about 7x5 inches and 1 inch thick. This method will help create a depth of layers. Cut into 6 even squares. Brush the top of each square with melted butter and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp of sugar. Freeze for 10 minutes.
3. Once out of the freezer, bake until a light golden brown about 22-25 minutes.
4. Allow to cool for 15 minutes and cut shortcakes in half, brush insides with melted butter and allow to cool completely.
5. Assemble and enjoy!