If you’ve had a chance to visit any of the outdoor markets lately, you’ve seen them. Piles of bright red berries, gleaming in the sunlight, just waiting to be taken home and devoured! There are a variety of strawberries here in Sicily, from the impossibly tiny fragoline to the gigantic fragolone, and every size in between. Although strawberries are a wonderfully healthy, low-calorie treat when eaten plain, I look forward to strawberry season for another reason: Strawberry Shortcake!
The strawberry shortcake I grew up eating was assembled using those little yellow sponge cake cups that can be found right next to the strawberries in almost any grocery store in the United States. As a child, I thought those little pre-packaged treats were wonderful topped with strawberries and whipped cream. But after tasting homemade strawberry shortcake for the first time several years ago, I walked away from the little yellow cakes and I’ve never looked back!
I’ve been experimenting lately with my old shortcake recipe and I’ve come up with a new one that generously serves four people. If you have a large family, double the recipe. Shortcake is best eaten warm from the oven and since this recipe is fairly quick and easy, you can prepare it right before you want to eat it.
These shortcakes are simply butter-rich, slightly sweet drop biscuits (very close to a scone). And although they may not taste like dessert if you eat them on their own, they are the perfect accompaniment to the sweet strawberries and syrup.
For best results, make sure your butter is very cold and work quickly. Also, be sure to let the strawberry and sugar mixture macerate while you proceed with the recipe as the berries need time to release their tasty juices! For easy clean-up, try lining your baking sheet with parchment paper.
4 C. fresh strawberries, rinsed and sliced
4 – 6 T. sugar (adjust to suit your own taste)
1 ½ C. all-purpose flour
1 ½ t. baking soda
4 T. sugar
1/3 C. butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 C. cold milk
1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
whipped cream (I prefer the real thing)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- In a medium bowl, stir together the strawberries and sugar. Set aside while you prepare the shortcakes.
- In another medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and sugar.
- Using a pastry blender or your fingertips and working quickly, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs.
- Add milk and vanilla all at once to flour mixture and stir until just combined.
- Using a large spoon, drop mixture into four equal piles on an ungreased baking sheet.
- Bake 12 – 15 minutes at 425 degrees.
- Remove biscuits to a rack and let cool for a few minutes.
- To serve, split a biscuit in two, spoon ¼ of the berry mixture over the bottom half (make sure you include lots of the juice), top with whipped cream and the other half of the biscuit.
More Ways With Strawberries
Last week, I asked for some strawberry recipe contributions to be included in this post. Thanks to everyone who responded, I received some really great ideas!
First I’ll start out with a drink recipe given by my friend Ruby. I’ll just let her tell you in her own words how to make this yummy-sounding Strawberry Margarita! Take it away, Rubes!
Well first off you need a good Osterizer blender (much like the one
your Aunt Kathy gave us for our wedding)!
This is a 2 drink recipe that Ron and I use…
wedge of lime and coarse salt to rim the glass!
2 cups of crushed ice
6 cut, fresh strawberries (minus stems)
1/2 shot of lime juice
pinch of coarse salt (optional)
pinch of sugar (optional, depends on how sweet you want it)
1 1/2 shots of tequila (good tequila)
1/2 shot of triple sec
- Rub lime on the edges of two margarita glasses and dip in salt (optional)
- Blend all ingredients to a fine puree.
- Divide drink mixture between the two glasses
- Garnish with a strawberry and you have achieved total yumminess!
Veronica from La Recette du Jour gives us a recipe for Strawberries Romanoff, a recipe she says is good for enhancing early-season, dull-tasting strawberries.
Next up, Sara from The Kitchen of San Lorenzo submitted the simple but elegant Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar.
Then, Terry from Blue Kitchen chimed in with a sweet and tangy salsa recipe that stars both mangoes and strawberries! You must head over there and check out the Spicy Salmon with Mango Salsa!
Melody from Fruit Tart answered my request for Strawberry Pie recipes with her beautiful and rustic Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. In her own words, “This is ‘farm food’. It isn’t fancy gourmet stuff. This is the simple, rustic, real thing.”
Alanna from A Veggie Venture was way ahead of me when it came to rounding up strawberry recipes! She wrote about three of them — Strawberries in Wine, Strawberry Banana Chocolate Crumble and Strawberry Fool — in her Kitchen Parade Article.
Anne from A Foodie Froggie in Paris (I just love the name of her blog!), was also generous with her strawberry recipes! First there’s the Strawberry and Raspberry Tiramisu. And as if that’s not enough, she gives us two more — Strawberry Soup and Strawberry and Mango Tartare with Orange Blossom. Wow!
Mary from the aptly titled blog, Sweet Mary, gives us another unbelievably gorgeous, lattice-top Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. It’s beautiful, go check out the photos!
How does this sound? Camembert with Baked Strawberries and black pepper, Tagliatelle with Strawberries and Lemon Sole, Strawberry Lassi… Intrigued? Well, head over to Paulchen’s Food Blog for a strawberry-based menu that, to me, sounds out of this world!
And finally, go visit What Did You Eat for some Strawberry Coffeecake. This looks so good that I think it will be the very first new strawberry recipe I try!
Update: Just found another interesting strawberry recipe! Rachel at Coconut and Lime made some Lemon Cupcakes with Strawberry Centers and they look yum-my!
Oh, and one more! Deb from Smitten Kitchen just posted a beautiful beautiful Strawberry Rhubard Crumble! If the pies seem like too much effort but you’re craving that strawberry rhubarb combination, this recipe might be right up your alley! If not, go check out Smitten Kitchen anyway, I guarantee you’ll find something to drool over!
Another Update: Have you ever tried Strawberry Bruschetta? I had never heard of it, but after reading the recipe over at Patty’s Pantry NYC, I can’t wait to try it!
Now for more shortcake recipes
Veronica from La Recette du Jour is back to give us a recipe for biscuits that she says are light and crumbly and would also make a nice base for other desserts.
Jen, from The Barmy Baker, gives us her Scrumptious Strawberry Shortcake with lots of mouthwatering photos! While you’re there, make sure to congratulate her, she was recently married :-)
For more beautiful Strawberry Shortcake photos and another great recipe, visit Culinary Concoctions by Peabody and prepare to drool! Her Strawberry Shortcake using Cinnamon Scented Biscuits and Mascarpone Cheese really takes Strawberry Shortcake to the next level!
Now I know that there are tons of strawberry recipes out there, so feel free to add links to your favorites in the comments box below! Enjoy!