Springtime is here and we could not wait to get our hands on some fresh local producing including the fresh strawberries grown right here in Florida. Although we love making rich desserts, spring is the time for something fresh and light. Strawberry Shortcakes are perfect to showcase the freshly picked strawberries and celebrate the coming of the spring season.
MAKING HOMEMADE SWEETENED WHIPPED CREAM
This only requires 3 ingredients but the flavor is heavenly and versatile! The main ingredients include cold heavy cream or heavy whipping cream, condensed milk, and vanilla extract. The colder the heavy cream, the more volume your whipped cream has. For a lower calorie version of this whipped cream, try using yogurt instead of the heavy cream. Instead of using regular sugar, we used condensed milk for a richer sweet flavor and a little goes a long way! Condensed milk is amazing in desserts and we use it whenever we get the chance. This homemade whipped cream has a soft and light texture with the perfect amount of sweetness. The best part is that it cannot only be used with the strawberry shortcake but you can add this to any pie, cake trifle or cupcake for a soft layer of texture!
FRESH FRUIT FOR THE SHORTCAKE
This part is very simple to do and should be done before making the shortcakes. Cut the strawberries in fourths, removing the tops and discard, and mix the cut berries with a little sugar. The sugar helps strawberries release all their sweet juice, Once added to the final shortcake stack, the juices will seep down into the shortcake layers and whipped cream.
STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE RECIPE
For the shortcakes:
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup sugar, divided
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/2 cups sour cream or yogurt
2/3 cups heavy cream
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubed pieces
1 Tbsp Demara sugar, to dust on to top of each shortcake
For the whipped cream:
3 1/3 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup condensed milk
4 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
For Macerated Strawberries
2 lb. strawberries
1/2 c sugar
1/2 lemon juice
Place a rack in center of oven. preheat to 400°.
In a medium bowl, whisk dry ingredients including the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a large bowl to combine.
Finely grate zest of half of 1 lemon right into bowl.
Place the cold, cut butter into the bowl and toss with dry ingredients until coated. With your hand, work butter into dry ingredients by pinching the mixture between your palms until there are lots of flaky and round bits remaining. Don't worry this is on purpose! Those small pieces of unincorporated butter will create steam pockets as the shortcakes bake. This will make your shortcakes so soft, flaky and delicious.
Combine the 1 1/2 cups sour cream and and 2/3 cups heavy cream in a separate medium bowl. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Scrape cream mixture into the well. Working in circles from inside the well outwards with a rubber spatula, mix dough until large,clumps form.
Knead the dough only until it forms a ball and most of the flour has been incorporated into the dough. Be sure not to over knead the dough.
Transfer to a lightly floured clean surface. Pat the dough down and roll out and shape into a 1"-thick square (approximately 1' x 1' square).
Cut dough into 4 equal squares, then stack them all on top of each other, creating one tall tower of dough. Press down on stack with your hands, flattening dough back to a square. Stacking the layers of dough this way will create lots of flaky layers. Next, Pat to a 12" x 6" rectangle about 1" thick.
Cut rectangle in half lengthwise, then cut each of those 2 rectangles into 6 squares. Transfer squares to prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle tops with Demerara sugar. Freeze 10 minutes.
Remove from freezer and bake shortcakes until golden brown all over, 20–25 minutes. Let cool.
While he tshortcakes bake, make your strawberries and whipped cream. Trim and discard stems of the berries and cut strawberries into fourths. Cut smaller ones in half and larger ones into quarters. Place all the strawberries in a bowl and squeeze half a lemon into the bowl to keep the strawberries fresh and tart. Add 1/2 cup of sugar and combine. Let sit at room temperature.
Sweetened Whipped Cream
In a chilled mixing bowl, add 3 1/3 cups heavy cream. Add vanilla, the condensed milk, and a pinch of salt. Vigorously whisk with your largest whisk, making figure-8 motions, until soft peaks form. With and electric mixer or hand mixer, whisk the mixture for approximately 5 minutes or until the cream thickens to soft peaks.
Assemble Your Beautiful, Tasty Strawberry Shortcakes
After the shortcakes have cooled,gently split shortcakes in half with your hands. Place bottom halves in serving bowls. Add a scoop of homemade whipped cream on top of the bottom half of the shortcake and then add the macerated strawberries among bottom halves. Drizzle some of the strawberry juice syrupy juices left in the bowl over the top of the strawberries and cover with the top half of the shortcake.
We hope you enjoy this fresh springtime dessert!
Try our other recipes....
Super Simple Fruit Tart