A Summer Favorite: Strawberry Shortcake

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Chef Chris Prosperi, of Metro Bis in Simsbury, shares his recipe for strawberry shortcake with orange whipped cream.

INGREDIENTS

Shortcakes
• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
• 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
• 1 large egg yolk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Strawberry Filling
• 2 packages (16 ounces or 3 cups each) Driscoll’s strawberries
• 3 teaspoons granulated sugar, divided
• 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
• 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 2 teaspoons grated orange zest

Garnish
• Fresh orange zest strips for garnish (optional)

PREPARATION

Shortcakes
• Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine flour, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a separate bowl whisk together 1 cup buttermilk, egg yolk and vanilla extract and stir into flour mixture until just moistened.
• Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead four to five times with floured hands. Gently pat dough to 3/4-inch thickness. Using a 3-inch-round biscuit cutter, cut out eight shortcakes, gathering scraps and patting out again if necessary, and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Brush tops of shortcakes with remaining 2 tablespoons buttermilk and sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons sugar.
• Bake shortcakes until lightly golden, 12 to 14 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack 10 minutes. Carefully split shortcakes horizontally using a serrated knife.

Strawberry Filling
• Hull and chop 15 strawberries and toss in a bowl with 2 teaspoons sugar; set aside. Combine heavy cream, confectioners’ sugar and orange zest in a bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer on high until stiff peaks almost form. Refrigerate until ready to use. Hull and halve 20 berries lengthwise. Hull and vertically slice eight strawberries. Use any remaining strawberries for garnish or reserve for another use.
• Place the bottom halves of shortcakes, cut side up, on eight serving plates and spread each with 2 tablespoons whipped cream. Arrange five strawberry halves, on their sides (with the cut side facing in towards the center) around the edge of each shortcake to form a ring. Spoon chopped strawberries into the center of the ring. Top with 2 tablespoons whipped cream and place shortcake tops, cut side down, on top. Spread tops with 1 tablespoon whipped cream, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Decoratively arrange four to five strawberry slices on top and sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon sugar. Drop a small dollop of whipped cream in the center of sliced berries and garnish with the orange zest strips if using. Serve or refrigerate until ready to serve.

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