Even though it is a little early in our area for homegrown strawberries, I just had to share this recipe with everyone. My husband came home from the grocery store with another great deal recently- beautiful, ripe and wonderful strawberries for a steal! So we had to make strawberry shortcake with some of them. I have often used the little individual cakes that are sold in the store to eat with strawberries- sweet and yummy. However, we did not have any of these on hand, and I have been trying to make more foods from scratch when possible. So I decided to make biscuits, which are actually the traditional way to eat fruit shortcakes.
Lately, I have been trying different biscuit recipes and found some really good ones that are wonderfully flaky and tasty. I have almost become addicted to them with various sweet and savory spreads and toppings. It is a little funny because I rarely, if ever, made these up until now- thought they were too much work and did not really enjoy them. This time, I found a winner recipe for shortcake that I was so thrilled with and will be THE ONE for shortcakes. This recipe was from an older cookbook I have titled Fannie Farmer Boston Cooking School Cookbook, (tenth edition, 1959). Three interesting ingredients that differ from many biscuit recipes were a little spice (nutmeg- or cardamom would also be good), cream of tartar and egg, which gives a richer biscuit.
Here is a picture of the biscuits- I did not make them as thick because I did not want so much biscuit with each serving of fruit.
2 cups flour (I used 1/2 white whole wheat flour)
4 tsp cream of tartar or phosphate baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp nutmeg or cardamom
1/3 cup butter
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Mix together dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Cut butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender, fork or may use fingers until butter is well incorporated (may also use a food processor just until the butter is mixed evenly in the flour). Combine milk and egg together into measuring cup and gradually add to the flour mixture just until the dough begins to hold together. If the dough is too dry and there is much excess flour in the bowl, add more milk one Tbsp at a time but do not mix excessively.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly a few times to get it to stick together. Pat out into a circle about 1 inch thick and either cut into desired pieces or use a biscuit cutter or cup/drinking glass to cut out individual biscuits. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. If using a darker baking sheet, bake at 400 degrees and check them at about 10 minutes or even sooner so they do not become too browned.
*If you want higher rising biscuits, do not pat the dough out as thin- make it 1 1/2 inches-2 inches thick and cut out the biscuits.
Option: the original recipe calls for using a 9 inch buttered cake pan and dividing the biscuit dough into 2 parts. Each part is rolled out to 9 inch rounds, the first round placed in the cake pan and a little melted butter is brushed on it. Then the 2nd round is placed in the cake pan and more butter is brushed on top. It is then baked for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.
The original recipe also called for using unsweetened, unwhipped heavy cream over the berries and shortcake, but I prefer a lighter sweetened whipped cream.
*The leftover biscuits are wonderful with cream cheese (strawberry flavored or other fruit flavored) or butter after being warmed a few seconds in the microwave or a couple minutes in the toaster oven.
This recipe was shared with the following:
Sweets For A Saturday #62
Weekend Potluck #10
Crumbs and Chaos: Seasonal Inspiration: 3-24-12
Country Momma Cooks- Link and Greet Party #11
Jam Hands: Recipe Sharing Monday #13
Delightfully Dowling: Mangia Mondays 55
Miz Helen's Country Cottage: Full Plate Thursday 3-29-12
Something Swanky: Sweet Treats Thursday
Simple Lives Thursday #89- A Bit of Spain In Iowa
The Taylor House #3