On Sunday we took a quick ride to C.N. Smith Farm in Bridgewater, MA and caught the last day of "pick-your-own" strawberries. This is normally an annual trip but this year time got away from us and we figured we had missed strawberry picking season.
We got there still being able to enjoy fresh strawberries, six quarts to be exact. It was wonderful to bite into a sweet, juicy strawberry. Nothing better than fresh from the patch.
We have enjoyed strawberry smoothies as well as strawberry shortcake this week. Jeff found this recipe in the Wilson Farm Country Cookbook. Local farm strawberries with a local farm recipe. We love this cookbook because it has our favorite red skinned potato salad recipe, too.
Jeff decided to make the shortbread as I was baking a double batch of Andria's Chocolate Chip Cookies. Jeff mixed all the dry ingredients together to find we didn't have any shortening. We decided to fore go the shortening and use butter for the entire recipe. It made for a buttery shortcake which was fine with me because I'm not a strawberry shortcake fan but this (hands down) this was "the best strawberry shortcake" I had ever eaten. Everyone enjoyed the shortcake with Jeff finishing off the last of it tonight. Strawberry shortcake with freshly picked strawberries and homemade whipped cream is probably one of the most refreshing desserts you could ever eat. It makes you want to savor each bite.
I wish we could have shared this earlier so that you could enjoy freshly picked strawberries, too. If you can still find them in your local supermarket or farmer's market, pick up a few quarts and treat yourself to this incredible dessert. It could be the hit of the 4th of July weekend!
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Grease an 8-inch round layer cake pan.
Ingredients for Shortcake:
2 cups of flour
2 tablespoons of white sugar
3 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons of butter (softened)
3 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
2/3 cup of milk
1 teaspoon butter (softened)
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together twice. Cut the 3 tablespoons of butter and shortening into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives until it resembles coarse cornmeal. Stir the milk into the flour and shortening mixture with a fork. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead it a few times until smooth. Divide the dough in half and pat one half into the greased pan (or roll with a rolling pin to fit the pan). Spread the teaspoon of butter over this layer (so the layers will split easily). Pat the second layer over the first (or roll to fit). Bake at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes or until browned and baked between the layers.
1 quart of strawberries
1/2 cup of sugar (or to taste)
While the shortcake is baking, wash, hull and mash the strawberries. Stir in the sugar and set aside until ready to serve.
1/2 cup of heavy cream
2 teaspoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
Whip the cream with a whisk or egg beater until it is quite thick. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue beating until the cream reaches the desired stiffness.
Remove the shortcake from the oven and place in on a deep serving platter. Lift off the top layer and put aside. Spoon half the strawberries on the bottom layer. Add the top layer and cover with remaining berries. Top with whipped cream. Cut into six pie shaped wedges. NOTE: The shortcake can also be baked as biscuits for individual servings.