Strawberry Shortcake

What a week! I had work everyday, saw a show with my roommate, made some amazing dinners and went upstate yesterday for my cousins birthday party. I was so excited to get out of the city for a day. As much as I love NYC, it is always nice to get out of the city for a little bit, even if only for the day. Ten kids went up in the morning and ran themselves ragged playing kickball, swimming, eating food, and smashing a piñata to smithereens. I mostly hung out in the kitchen and manning the barbeque. I also took a quick bike ride down the mountain with my uncle, which once again proved that I need to get my butt into shape.

Not only was it my cousin’s birthday (it’s actually tomorrow but we celebrated a little early) but it was also my aunt’s birthday. Since we were getting a Crumbs birthday cake for my cousin, I decided to make a strawberry shortcake for my aunt because she told me how much she loves fresh berries and May is certainly the month for strawberries. I made the shortcake Friday evening in the city and then cut up fresh strawberries and made whipped cream when I got to their house on Saturday morning.

I’ve never made a strawberry shortcake before, but after looking at the recipe, I realized it was quite similar to making scones, which are one of my favorite things to make, so I was quite excited. I usually think of strawberry shortcake as being made with angel food cake, but this is much more dense – just like a scone. I’m not sure I liked it so dense, so if I make it again, I will probably head the angel food cake route. I was planning on cutting the cake in half to put the whipped cream in the center, but given how little the cake had risen I was worried I wouldn’t have enough cake to cut. I realized soon after I bit into it that I should have cut it in half to soak in more of the juices, but it was too late, so oh well.  This is certainly a quick and easy dessert to whip up, especially if you get your hands on some fresh strawberries and whipped cream 🙂

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE

(Adapted from allrecipes.com)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 pints fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 cups whipped heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:

1) Slice the strawberries and toss them with 1/2 cup of white sugar. Set aside

2) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease and flour one 8 inch round cake pan.

3) In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, 2 tablespoons white sugar and the salt.

4) With a pastry blender cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center and add the beaten egg and milk. Stir until just combined.

5) Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool partially in pan on wire rack.

6) Slice partially cooled cake in half, making two layers. (I didn’t do this part, but I recommend it)

7) Place half of the strawberries on one layer and top with the other layer. Top with remaining strawberries and cover with the whipped cream.

Advertisements

Strawberry and Blueberry Scones

This week has gone by mad crazy fast! I can’t believe it’s almost Friday. I only have about 3 weeks left of school. Hallelujah! In some ways, it is a little bit sad, but honestly, I can’t wait until summer and then NYC in the fall – although with the 80+ degree weather that is expected this weekend, I would say summer is already upon us in full force.

Anyway, enough reminiscing and on to more interesting things – baking that is. Today in french class, Ms. Jones was out with the french exchange students at the beach and we were left to basically fend for myself. Of course I spent half the period doing nothing and half the period looking at recipes. I then realized that Friday morning we have french first and I immediately blurted out “Who wants scones tomorrow?” Almost everyone’s response was a hearty “yes,” and so began my adventure of making scones.

I have never made them before, but they didn’t seem all that hard. Batch one turned out great, a little undercooked maybe – or so my dad said – but other wise good shape and form and nice aroma. The second batch, using a different recipe was a complete disaster. Note to self – never use fresh strawberries in a blender; everything gets mushy and unusuable. So after a failure batch, but still boxes of left over strawberries, I went back to the first recipe again. All of this result in one set of yummy blueberry scones and another set of what appear to be rather good looking strawberry scones, although the strawberries do look a little mushy. I hope they like them in the morning!


adapted from the foodnetwork.com

Ingredients

Scones:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks
  • 1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing the scones
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries (or 1 cup of fresh strawberries – whichever you prefer)

Lemon Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 lemon, zest finely grated
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Sift together the dry ingredients; the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
  3. Using 2 forks or a pastry blender, cut in the butter to coat the pieces with the flour. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.
  4. Make a well in the center and pour in the heavy cream. Fold everything together just to incorporate; do not overwork the dough.
  5. Fold the blueberries into the batter. Take care not to mash or bruise the blueberries because their strong color will bleed into the dough.
  6. Press the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 12 by 3 by 1 1/4 inches. Cut the rectangle in 1/2 then cut the pieces in 1/2 again, giving you 4 (3-inch) squares. Cut the squares in 1/2 on a diagonal to give you the classic triangle shape.
  7. Place the scones on an ungreased cookie sheet and brush the tops with a little heavy cream.
  8. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until beautiful and brown. Let the scones cool a bit before you apply the glaze.

Glaze

  1. Mix the lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar together in a microwave-safe bowl. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Add the lemon zest and butter.
  3. Nuke it for 30 seconds on high.
  4. Whisk the glaze to smooth out any lumps, then drizzle the glaze over the top of the scones. Let it set a minute before serving.