Strawberry Cream Shortcakes

Summer 2011
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food and drink

BY: Marilyn Bentz-Crowley

The shortcakes can be made ahead, and so can the whipped cream by using Dr. Oetker’s Whip it. This product is retailed in twin 10g packets and is a whipped cream stabilizer found in the baking sections of grocery stores. Thus cream stays whipped for a day or more. Egg whites can be frozen in a small container to use in other baking.

SHORTCAKES
2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
2 tbsp (30 mL) granulated sugar
2½ tsp (12 mL) baking powder
¼ to ½ tsp (1 to 2 mL) salt (use greater amount with unsalted butter)
⅓ cup (80 mL) cold butter
1 cup (250 mL) cold 10% cream or whole milk
2 egg yolks
2 tsp (10 mL) coarse or ordinary granulated sugar

FRUIT
6 to 8 cups (1.5 to 2 L) fresh strawberries
⅓ to ½ cup (80 to 125 mL) granulated sugar

CREAM
1 cup (250 mL) cold whipping cream
2 tbsp (30 mL) granulated sugar
1 pkt Whip it (10 g) (optional)

1 To make shortcakes, arrange rack above oven centre and preheat to 450°F (230°C). Line a baking sheet, preferably double- bottom, with parchment.

2 Stir flour with sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter until flour mixture is mealy-looking with bits of butter still visible here and there. Or simply grate cold butter into flour mixture; then, using fingers, rub butter pieces into flour mixture until mealy-looking. Stir cream with yolks; make a well in flour mixture. Pour in cream mixture; stir until soft dough forms.

3 Drop dough into 12 equal mounds well apart on parchment. (Scantly filling a 4-oz/125-g mechanical ice cream scoop, which is a good portioning tool and shaper of dough.) Use a fork to form into a round mound if needed. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake 10 minutes or until golden. Cool on a rack. Shortcakes can be made a day ahead and stored airtight. (If crispy shortcakes are preferred, toast stored cakes lightly in a toaster oven before splitting.)

4 An hour or 2 before serving, set aside 6 large perfect berries. Hull and cut remaining berries into quarters or slices. Add sugar using the greater amount for less-sweet(usually imported) berries; stir. Let “weep” at room temperature, stirring occasionally. When ready to serve, place whipping cream and sugar into a chilled bowl. (If whipping ahead, add Whip it now.) Whip until soft peaks form. (If made ahead with Whip it, cover and refrigerate.)

5 When ready to serve, cut perfect berries lengthwise, hull attached, into halves. Split each shortcake horizontally. Lay bottom on serving plate, top with some berries including juice and whipped cream. Place top half of shortcake, and repeat with berries and cream. Lastly, top with a strawberry half. Serve right away.

Makes 12 small servings