Strawberry Shortcake, the holy grail of June desserts. Last June I was determined to make some that was safe for me. This is the recipe I used; it is adapted from artofglutenfreebaking.com’s recipe for buttermilk biscuits. This is not a simple recipe but really not that hard. If you can make brownies or biscuits you can throw this together.
First get your homegrown or field picked by you strawberries; 2 quarts or close to that much. I do not recommend the strawberries in the super market unless they say locally grown. Sniff them and unless they smell incredibly good pass them by and stop at a farm stand for the real deal. You will have a much better shortcake with local grown berries. Saucon Valley Produce on Main Street in Hellertown has fresh home grown berries that would be perfect. Briefly rinse and hull them. Set aside 1 cup whole berries. Slice the rest and pour ½ c sugar over them and 2 tbsp. corn syrup. Let sit in fridge an hour or two.
Then make your shortcake. My mom always made a shortcake that was very much like a baking powder biscuit, giant sized for a big family to share. She put the small piece right on top of the big one and split it right out of the oven and buttered it before piling on the berries. I tend to leave off this step classifying it as a tad excessive but you go right ahead and butter it up!
2 cups Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix, recipe below, sifted
2 tbsp. double-acting, aluminum free baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
3 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. butter, cold
2 tbsp. lard, solid vegetable shortening, cold (or extra butter)
3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk
Tapioca flour for dusting
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, stir together the sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Add the butter and solid shortening and cut in with a pastry blender or your fingers until the fat resembles coarse, pea-size clumps. Stir in the buttermilk, taking care not to over-mix.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and quickly shape into a cohesive mass. Break off ¼ of the dough and set aside Roll the remaining dough out with a tapioca flour-floured rolling pin until it reaches a circle about 1” thick and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Roll out the smaller lump of dough and place on the same parchment-lined cookie sheet. Leave a little space between them for expansion during baking.
Bake the shortcakes for about 20-22 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown and nicely risen.
The flour mix:
1 1/4 cup brown rice flour
1 1/4 cup white rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1 cup sweet rice flour aka “glutinous” rice flour
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum – means not quite 2 tsp.
My family liked a variety of dairy toppings on their shortcake so my mom always set out a pitcher of cream, a bowl of sweetened whipped cream and a quart of milk. I have had it with each topping and frankly they are all tasty toppers! These days I generally make a bowl of lightly sweetened whipped cream. For this recipe I would make about 1 ½ cups of cream whipped until a very soft peak, add 2 tbsp. powdered sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Don’t over beat it; it shouldn’t stay but gently puddle for the best topping for shortcake.
The big put together: I use a large turkey platter; put the bottom layer on it and then top with 2/3 of the sliced berries. Top with the second smaller shortcake and pile on the rest of the sliced berries. If they roll down just let them pile up on the platter. Do pour on the juice puddle in the bottom of the bowl. Plop the reserved whole berries on top and around the cake decoratively. Then take it to the table to show off the glory of this masterpiece before you slice it and top each piece with a generous dollop of the whipped cream. There are seldom any leftovers but I will say it makes a tasty breakfast the next morning.
I keep the leftover dry flour mix in my freezer so I can make it as regular biscuits. Cut them about 2 or 2.5 inches in diameter. They bake for about 15 minutes and you should leave out the sugar from the dough.