by Heather Harris-Brady
Sometimes things happen. Momentous things. I meant to finish out the cheeseboard posts, really I did, but this happened:
The signs for local strawberries went up and I scurried home with eight quarts of the most beautiful berries one is ever likely to come across. So I will get to the salted caramel pepitas in time but for now there was only one thing to do – make the first shortcake of the season.
There are a few key elements to building the perfect shortcake, including fresh biscuits and whipped cream with a touch of sour cream. When I got older and more wise to the ways of the world I learned that there are places where people actually use cake as part of their shortcake. But if you grew up on a farm in the midwest then you expect your shortcake to be of biscuits.
Building the Ultimate Strawberry Shortcake, Four Servings
One quart fresh local strawberries
1/3 c. sugar
Eight fresh buttermilk biscuits
One pint whipping cream
1 T. sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 T. sour cream
Clean the strawberries and toss them with the 1/3 c. sugar. Set aside. They will get glossy and juice up. You can crush them slightly if you have freaks in your family like my brother who only eat juice on their shortcake – no berries. (Don’t get me started.)
While the strawberries are waiting, mix up your biscuits and bake them. As the biscuits are baking, combine the whipping cream, vanilla and sugar. Whip until you have nice peaks, then whip in the sour cream to finish it. Set aside.
Take the biscuits out. Because it’s strawberry season, making the world a perfect place in this point and time, your biscuits will rise up like little clouds all light and fluffy.
Let them cool for a few minutes. Then split them and put two bottoms in each bowl, giving them a light gloss of butter.
Then cover them with so many berries you can barely see them. Loads, loads of berries I tell you.
Set the tops of the biscuits on the berries and crown it with a nice dollop of cream.
I think I’m on some kind of strawberry high right now so you’re going to have to bear with me for a week or two.