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Best summer dessert ever (Taste of Home’s Fresh Berry Shortcake)

When I was in Dallas a few weeks ago and we were making our giant, from-scratch dinner, Kristine submitted this recipe as our dessert. I immediately agreed. I looooove strawberry shortcake! It is my go-to dessert for any summer cookout, get-together, bridal shower, etc. It is light and sweet and decently healthy, and just says SUMMER.

Normally, I just buy strawberries, cut them up, toss in a tiny bit of sugar and water, then let them sit in the fridge for awhile (developing a slight syrup). Then I serve with angel food cake and whipped cream. But we were doing everything from scratch, and this is a fancier (though not too much harder) take on strawberry (or any berry) shortcake. It’s from Taste of Home magazine, I’d link to it but they require registration and other nonsense to visit the page.

We got lucky and found some great berries!

Cut up the strawberries into bite-size pieces.

Try to find good, sweet, ripe berries—bigger is not always better.

Toss in the sugar.

Zest the orange and set the zest aside (you’ll need it for the shortcakes).

Juice the orange. You can do this just by squeezing the orange (my normal method), but Kristine actually ended up having a juicer so we used that.

Throw the orange juice in the strawberries and sugar mixture, then toss it all together, cover, and put in the fridge.

Moving on to the whipped cream. I’d never made whipped cream from scratch before, so I was a little nervous. Kristine handled it like a pro, though.

Beat cream until it begins to thicken.

This will take several minutes.

Add confectioners sugar and vanilla.

Beat until soft peaks form.

Look at those peaks. When it’s finished, put in the fridge until time to serve.

For shortcakes, preheat the oven to 400. Mix the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, orange peel and salt. Then cut in butter (I freeze it to make it easier to handle) with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Whisk 1 1/2 cups cream, egg, egg yolk and vanilla together, then add to flour mixture, stirring until just moistened. Here’s where we ran into some issues. For some reason—whether we made a mistake in measurements or the recipe was wrong—the consistency was WAY off. It was more like pancake batter than the crumbly biscuit-y dough you’d expect. Rather than panicking, we just started adding more flour. This isn’t ideal, but it works. We ended up having to add A LOT more flour to the recipe (again, not sure if the recipe is off or if one of us messed up). The thing we didn’t do, that we should have, is add some more sugar to offset the extra flour.

When it’s the right consistency, put it on a lightly floured surface, and gently knead it 8 to 10 times, forming a kind of ball.

Pat out into a circle or square, about an inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter (or in our case, a coffee travel mug), cut into circles. You could also just cut them into squares, diamonds, triangles, whatever.

Place 2 inches apart on a parchment paper lined baking sheet; we didn’t have parchment paper, so we skipped. Note, wax paper is NOT a substitute for parchment paper…unless you like fire in your oven. Brush tops with 1 tbsp cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired (we skipped this step out of laziness and not having any more cream).

Bake at 400 for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown (it was closer to 20 minutes or a little over for us). Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes.

Because of all the extra flour, they were a little more cakey than you’d expect, and a little less sweet. As I mentioned before, if you end up needing to add the extra flour, I’d add some extra sugar as well.

To serve, cut the shortcake in half in a bowl or on a plate.

Pile the delicious strawberries on top.

I mean seriously pile.

Add your homemade whipped cream, and devour!

Fresh Berry shortcakes

Strawberry (or other berry) Mixture:

  • 5 cups strawberries, chopped or sliced up
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice

Shortcakes:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp grated orange peel
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tbsp heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Coarse sugar (turbinado), optional

Whipped Cream:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. In a bowl combine the chopped-up strawberries, sugar and fresh-squeezed orange juice and refrigerate until time to eat. Zest the orange and set that aside for the shortcakes.
2. For shortcakes, combine the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, orange peel and salt; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Whisk 1 1/2 cups cream, egg, egg yolk and vanilla; add to flour mixture, stirring until just moistened. Turn onto lightly floured surface; gently knead 8 to 10 times.
3. Roll out to 1 inch thickness; cut with floured 3 inch scalloped or round biscuit cutter. Place 2 inches apart on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Brush tops with 1 tbsp cream; sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired. Bake at 400 for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes.
4. For whipped cream beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners sugar and vanilla. Beat until soft peaks form. Refrigerate until time to eat.
5. Just before serving cut shortcakes in half horizontally. Place bottoms on dessert plates; top with strawberries and whipped cream.

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Trackbacks

  1. […] whole awesome meal we had (minus the brie & jam appetizers and the strawberry shortcake dessert). SO […]

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  2. […] angel food cake will do in a pinch, usually I try to go the extra mile and make traditional homemade shortcakes, kind of scone- or biscuit-like (or like this oat & brown sugar version). They’re not […]

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