Spring and strawberries.
Strawberries and shortcake.
For Easter dinner, I wanted to make an old fashioned strawberry shortcake for dessert. When I think of an old fashioned dessert, I always think of strawberry shortcake made with biscuits ( just like grandma’s).
First, make the biscuits.
Baking Powder Biscuits
slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour
3 c. flour
1 t. sea salt
1 T. baking powder
1 T. sugar
6 T. cold butter, cut into 1 tablespoon slices
1 c. vanilla almond milk (unsweetened)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix dry ingredients.
Add butter and process until the mixture looks like bread crumbs. Add almond milk and pulse until a soft dough forms.
Place dough on a floured surface and roll out to a 3/4 inch thickness. Cut out biscuits.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until they’re lightly browned.
Yield: about twelve 2 1/2-inch biscuits.
The vanilla-almond milk gives these biscuits just a hint of dessert-like sweetness. Now you need to prepare the strawberries. I bumped this up a notch from the basic sugared strawberries by adding honey and balsamic vinegar.
16 oz. fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1 T. sugar
1/4 c. local honey
1 T. balsamic vinegar
Prepare strawberries. Toss with sugar and set aside.
Heat honey slightly in microwave. Stir in balsamic vinegar. Let cool to room temperature and then toss with strawberries.
Split a warm biscuit, layer in some honey-balsamic strawberries….
Of course, you have to top this off with some good old fashioned whipped cream.
I am currently reading The Feast Nearby by Robin Mather.
This book of loosely woven together essays reminds me of Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life but in a less preachy, more philosophical and much more practical way. In the second chapter, Mather talks about the first strawberry shortcake of the season and how it was a family tradition to have a supper of nothing but shortcake. Her mother would make a huge biscuit that would feed the family of seven:
She made one big round of shortcake, split it while still hot, buttered it lavishly, and sloshed sugared sliced strawberries over the bottom half before replacing the top, buttering it and adding another sluice of strawberries. We were invited to spoon more strawberries over our portions and to dress the shortcake with slightly sweetened whipped cream—made from heavy cream, not the kind that comes in a tub….It is a merry moment, strawberry-shortcake-for-dinner night. (20)
Strawberry-shortcake-for-dinner night—why didn’t I think of that?
So far, I am loving this read. Each essay/chapter is concluded with three or four recipes. I have a feeling I will find some more inspiration from this book.
Last year The Hubs made this strawberry planter for me.
This picture was taken last spring and unfortunately, only three plants made it through the winter. We are currently in the process of replanting. I am hoping to harvest enough for another batch of biscuit shortcake (or strawberry-shortcake-for-dinner night)!