What better way to conjure up memories of the joys of youth than strawberry shortcake? Strawberry shortcake consists of sliced strawberries that have been macerated with whipped cream served over a white cake or biscuit. I’m from the camp that insists that strawberry shortcake is made with a biscuit, not a cake. Growing up we always made the shortcake biscuits with Bisquick baking mix, which now, thankfully, has a zero-transfat version of their product. The best of course are biscuits made from scratch, using butter and cream. I’ve included recipes here for excellent homemade biscuits, the Bisquick biscuits, and also wheat and gluten-free biscuits for those who don’t want to give up strawberry shortcake just because they can’t eat wheat.
Strawberry Shortcake Recipe
Strawberries and whipping cream:
- 3 baskets of fresh strawberries
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Whipping cream
Remove the stems from the strawberries. Slice into thin (1/4" to 1/8") slices. Put into a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of sugar (depending on how sweet the strawberries are to begin with) and mix into the strawberries. Set aside at room temperature to macerate (which means that the sugar will soften the strawberries and help release their juices).
After the strawberries have been sitting for 20 minutes or so, take a potato masher and mash them a little. Not too much, just enough to get more juice out of them.
Whip the cream, adding a drop or two of vanilla and a teaspoon of sugar.
To serve, break up one biscuit per person into big pieces into a bowl. Ladle strawberries over the biscuit. Add a dolop of whipped cream.
Biscuits from scratch
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 12 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Toss with a fork to combine. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or a fork until the largest pieces of butter are the size of peas. (Or pulse several times in a food processor.) Combine the cream and vanilla in a liquid measure. Make a well in the center of the flour and and pour the cream mixture into the well. Mix with a fork until the dough is evenly moistened and just combined; it should look shaggy and still feel a little dry. Gently knead by hand five or six times to create a loose ball.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and pat it into an 8-inch square, 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment or silpat, cover with plastic and chill for 20 minutes in the refrigerator. Heat the oven to 425ºF. Remove the dough from refrigerator. Cut the dough into 9 even squares and spread them about 2 inches apart from each other on the baking sheet. Bake until the biscuits are medium golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes.
Makes 9 biscuits. (Adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine, July 2003)
- 2 1/3 cups Bisquick baking mix
- 3 Tbsp butter, melted
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 Tbsp sugar
The strawberry shortcake biscuit recipe used to be on the side of the Bisquick box. For some unfathomable reason, the company has started to print the recipe on the inside of the box. Talk about not understanding your customers! If you can't find the recipe, here it is:
Heat oven to 425°F. Stir baking mix, melted butter, milk, and 3 Tbsp of sugar in a mixing bowl until soft dough forms. Drop by 6 spoonfuls on to a greased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Makes 6 biscuits.
- 1-1/2 cups Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour (Bob's Red Mill)
- 1 Tbsp. Sugar
- 2 tsp. Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
- 1 tsp. Xanthan Gum
- 1 tsp. Guar Gum
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 1/4 cup Shortening
- 1/2 cup Milk
- 1 large Egg White
Preheat oven to 350º. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or grease lightly.
In food processor, pulse dry ingredients (flour through salt) with shortening until mixture is consistency of small peas. Add milk and egg white. Blend until dough forms ball, scraping down sides with spatula, if necessary. Dough will be somewhat soft.
Place dough on parchment-lined or greased baking sheet that’s been lightly dusted with rice flour. Gently pat to 3/4-inch thick circle with hands or spatula. Lightly dust dough with rice flour. Cut into ten 2-inch circles with floured biscuit cutter. Shape remaining dough to 3/4-inch thick and cut again. If dough is sticky, lightly dust with more flour. Arrange evenly on baking sheet.
Bake 12-15 minutes or until nicely browned. Best when served warm or gently reheated in microwave oven. Serves 10. (Recipe from Bob's Red Mill)