Strawberry Shortcake….the Real Deal!

strawberry shortcake

Strawberry shortcake is a classic and no one turns down a slice of it at at a family gathering. I am not sure where I got the gf shortcake recipe; maybe my old Bette Hagman Gourmet Cookbook. I used to make shortcake a lot when I could still use all purpose flour but my gf biscuit version is pretty tasty. But there is one thing, you gotta make it with the best freaking strawberries you can find.  None of those ultra firm ones with whitish cores that are shipped in from far away.  You need juicy ripe scented red berries that are served over a gluten free short bread.  Yes, my local season is done but it can be done with other than local produce – the riper the better and it will taste great!

My mom always made a gorgeous version of strawberry shortcake. When I was a kid she would serve it as an entire meal.  I have done that and it is kinda cool.  Pre gluten free I generally made a huge oval biscuit with a smaller topping biscuit that I split off and buttered the split area before topping with berries and the smaller biscuit and topped with more ripe berries and a pillow of softly whipped heavy cream.  Oh berry perfection!  Now I bake it in two separate pans but the construction of the final product is the same otherwise. The pictures on construction are a couple of years old but the process is the same; just made some this past weekend; came out perfect.

Mom’s Strawberry Shortcake, GF2.3

Biscuit dough

1 cup white rice flour

2/3 cup potato starch flour

4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tbsp. sugar

½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. xanthan gum

6 tbsp cold butter

1 medium egg

2/3 cup buttermilk

2-3 tsp. sugar (optional)

2 tsp. soft butter

Other ingredients:

2 quarts ripe strawberries

½ cup sugar

2-3 tbsp. Karo light syrup

1 cup heavy whipping cream

½ tsp. real vanilla

2 tbs. powdered sugar (if you like your cream sweet)

Directions
Heat oven t0 400 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Cut in the cold butter until it is small pebbles.  Add the egg and most of the buttermilk.  Mix with a spoon; add rest of buttermilk if you need it.  It should be a bit sticky, don’t over mix; just until dry is blended in.  Spray the inside of an eight inch cake pan and a 6 inch cake pan with cooking spray.  If you don’t have a small pan just use two 8 inch ones.  Pat ¾ of the dough into the 8 inch; make it about ¾ to 1 inch thick and try to smooth the top and side edges a bit.  Put the rest of the dough in the smaller pan and do the same smoothing.  Make that one ½ to ¾ inch thick.  Optional: take 2-3 tsp. of granulated sugar and sprinkle it over top of them. I think it gives a great finish to the shortcake. Bake them about 20 to 25 min; the smaller one should be done in 20 minutes; a golden light brown. Set on a cooling rack for a few minutes.

While it bakes, get the berries ready.  Hull 2 quarts of fresh ripe berries.  Place them in a glass mixing bowl; chop through them a few strokes with a sharp knife.  Add ½ cup sugar and about 2-3 tbsp. Karo light corn syrup to the berries.  Stir well and refrigerate until the shortcake is baked.  You could do this berry preparation up to two hours in advance.  No more or they will start to disintegrate.

Place the fairly hot bigger layer on a large platter, one big enough to hold the shortbread and still have room for a generous overflow of strawberries. Butter lightly if you wish.  Top with several big spoonfuls of berries.  Don’t worry if there is juice in the berry bowl; there should be; melted down sugar and Karo syrup with berry juice will give you a delish berry liquid.  Top with the second smaller biscuit and then more berries.   Cut into chunks.  Top with freshly whipped cream; beat a cup of heavy whipping cream until it is softly whipped.  Add ½ tsp. vanilla and ¼ cup sugar if you wish it sweet.  Be sure to pour the berry juice over your shortcake; it soaks in and adds to the strawberry experience.

My dad liked to pour unbeaten cream over his shortcake. My mom usually set out the whipped cream, a jug of cream and some whole milk so you could chose how to finish off your personal shortcake.  I might add that I grew up on a farm so this was raw milk from grass pastured cows; fantastic cream equaling a freaking perfect shortcake topper.  We also grew our own berries; no chemical sprayed on them ever.’

Notes: Karo is sugar syrup; I know, I know its not very healthy but it is only a bit and it improves the berries to have some. Just do it. And while I am being bossy: please use real whipped cream. So easy to make and if you are going to the trouble of a scratch shortcake you need the real deal topping. It is hugely worth it.  I actually stored some whipped cream in the fridge overnight and it was still decent the next day although the texture is a bit softer than it originally was. Strawberry shortcake is a decadent treat but honestly no more so than a sundae you get at an ice cream place. SO go ahead and indulge. Enjoy!

shortcake, one serving

If there is any left over it makes a great breakfast the next morning!

Originally published in June 2014. Minor text changes this time.

Strawberry Shortcake – GF 2.3

Strawberry shortcake is a classic and no one turns down a slice of it at at a family gathering. I am not sure where I got the gf shortcake recipe; maybe my old Bette Hagman Gourmet Cookbook. I used to make shortcake a lot when I could still use all purpose flour but my gf biscuit version is pretty tasty. But there is one thing, you gotta make it with the best freaking strawberries you can find.  None of those ultra firm ones with whitish cores that are shipped in from far away.  You need juicy ripe scented red berries that are served over a gluten free short bread.  Yes, my local season is done but it can be done with other than local produce – the riper the better and it will taste great!

My mom always made a gorgeous version of strawberry shortcake. When I was a kid she would serve it as an entire meal.  I have done that and it is kinda cool.  Pre gluten free I generally made a huge oval biscuit with a smaller topping biscuit that I split off and buttered the split area before topping with berries and the smaller biscuit and topped with more ripe berries and a pillow of softly whipped heavy cream.  Oh berry perfection!  Now I bake it in two separate pans but the construction of the final product is the same otherwise.

Mom’s Strawberry Shortcake, GF2.3

Biscuit dough

1 cup white rice flour

2/3 cup potato starch flour

4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tbsp. sugar

½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. xanthan gum

6 tbsp cold butter

1 medium egg

2/3 cup buttermilk

2-3 tsp. sugar (optional)

2 tsp. soft butter

Other ingredients:

2 quarts ripe strawberries

½ cup sugar

2-3 tbsp. Karo light syrup

1 cup heavy whipping cream

½ tsp. real vanilla

2 tbs. powdered sugar (if you like your cream sweet)

Directions
Heat oven t0 400 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Cut in the cold butter until it is small pebbles.  Add the egg and most of the buttermilk.  Mix with a spoon; add rest of buttermilk if you need it.  It should be a bit sticky, don’t over mix; just until dry is blended in.  Spray the inside of an eight inch cake pan and a 6 inch cake pan with cooking spray.  If you don’t have a small pan just use two 8 inch ones.  Pat ¾ of the dough into the 8 inch; make it about ¾ to 1 inch thick and try to smooth the top and side edges a bit.  Put the rest of the dough in the smaller pan and do the same smoothing.  Make that one ½ to ¾ inch thick.  Optional: take 2-3 tsp. of granulated sugar and sprinkle it over top of them. I think it gives a great finish to the shortcake. Bake them about 20 to 25 min; the smaller one should be done in 20 minutes; a golden light brown. Set on a cooling rack for a few minutes.

While it bakes, get the berries ready.  Hull 2 quarts of fresh ripe berries.  Place them in a glass mixing bowl; chop through them a few strokes with a sharp knife.  Add ½ cup sugar and about 2-3 tbsp. Karo light corn syrup to the berries.  Stir well and refrigerate until the shortcake is baked.  You could do this berry preparation up to two hours in advance.  No more or they will start to disintegrate.

Place the fairly hot bigger layer on a large platter, one big enough to hold the shortbread and still have room for a generous overflow of strawberries. Butter lightly if you wish.  Top with several big spoonfuls of berries.  Don’t worry if there is juice in the berry bowl; there should be; melted down sugar and karo syrup with berry juice will give you a delish berry liquid.  Top with the second smaller biscuit and then more berries.   Cut into chunks.  Top with freshly whipped cream; beat a cup of heavy whipping cream until it is softly whipped.  Add ½ tsp. vanilla and ¼ cup sugar if you wish it sweet.  Be sure to pour the berry juice over your shortcake; it soaks in and adds to the strawberry experience.  My dad liked to pour unbeaten cream over his shortcake. My mom usually set out the whipped cream, a jug of cream and some whole milk so you could chose how to finish off your personal shortcake.  I might add that I grew up on a farm so this was raw milk from grass pastured cows; fantastic cream equaling a freaking perfect shortcake topper.  We also grew our own berries; no chemical sprayed on them ever.’

shortcake, one serving

If there is any left over it makes a great breakfast the next morning!

Originally published in June 2014.

Mom’s Strawberry Shortcake 2.3 Version

I just have to share this recipe with you again.  It is just a classic and no one I know turns down homemade strawberry shortcake. We had it last Sunday.  I am not sure where I got the recipe…. my gf biscuit version is pretty tasty I have to say.

camping 6-16 005

This year’s biscuit was so flaky and tasty I could hardly believe it was gf and I am the one who made it!

 

But there is one thing, you gotta make it with the best freaking strawberries you can find.  None of those big firm ones with whitish cores that are shipped in from far away.  You need juicy ripe, scented red berries that can be chopped coarsely and mixed with sugar and served over shortbread.  Gluten free shortcake biscuit.  Yes, it can be made with other than local berries and it will taste great but local fruit make it fantastic!

My mom always made a gorgeous version of strawberry shortcake. When I was a kid she would serve it as the meal.  I have done that and it is kinda cool.  For that I made a huge oval biscuit that lay in my turkey platter with a smaller oval topping biscuit that I split off the big biscuit and buttered the split area before topping with berries and the smaller biscuit.  And more ripe berries.  Then a topping of softly whipped heavy cream.  Oh berry perfection.

Now I bake it in two separate pans but the construction of the final product is the same otherwise.  These pictures are from last June; my daughter snapped them as I put the shortcake together at a family gathering.  It is always a hit even with gf shortbread.  The shortbread I made this past Sunday was so good, I swear it could pass for my old shortbread… Feeds six or four piggie eaters.

Mom’s Strawberry Shortcake, GF2.3

Biscuit dough

1 cup white rice flour

2/3 cup potato starch flour

4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

2 tbsp. sugar

½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. xanthan gum

6 tbsp cold butter

1 medium egg

2/3 cup buttermilk

2-3 tsp. sugar (optional)

2 tsp. soft butter

Other ingredients:

2 quarts ripe strawberries

½ cup sugar

2-3 tbsp. Karo light syrup

1 cup heavy whipping cream

½ tsp. real vanilla

2-4 tbs. powdered sugar (if you like your cream sweet)

Directions
Heat oven t0 400 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Cut in the cold butter until it is small pebbles.  Add the egg and most of the buttermilk.  Mix with a spoon; add rest of buttermilk if you need it.  It should be a bit sticky, don’t over mix; just until dry is blended in.  Spray the inside of an eight inch cake pan and a 6 inch cake pan with cooking spray.  If you don’t have a small pan just use two 8 inch ones.  Pat ¾ of the dough into the 8 inch; make it about ¾ to 1 inch thick and try to smooth the top and side edges a bit.  Put the rest of the dough in the smaller pan and do the same smoothing.  Make that one ½ to ¾ inch thick.  Optional: take 2-3 tsp. of granulated sugar and sprinkle it over top of them. I think it gives a great finish to the shortcake. Bake them about 20 to 25 min; the smaller one should be done in 20 minutes; a golden light brown. Set on a cooling rack for a few minutes.

While it bakes, get the berries ready.  Hull 2 quarts of fresh ripe berries.  Place them in a glass mixing bowl; chop through them a few strokes with a sharp knife.  Add ½ cup sugar and about 2-3 tbsp. Karo light corn syrup to the berries.  Stir well and refrigerate until the shortcake is baked.  You could do this berry preparation up to two hours in advance.  No more or they will start to disintegrate.

Place the fairly hot bigger layer on a large platter, one big enough to hold the shortbread and still have room for a generous overflow of strawberries. Butter lightly if you wish.  Top with several big spoonfuls of berries.  Don’t worry if there is juice in the berry bowl; there should be; melted down sugar and karo syrup with berry juice will give you a delish berry liquid.  Top with the second smaller biscuit and then more berries.   Cut into chunks.  Top with freshly whipped cream; beat a cup of heavy whipping cream until it is softly whipped.  Add ½ tsp. vanilla and ¼ cup sugar if you wish it sweet.  Be sure to pour the berry juice over your shortcake; it soaks in and adds to the strawberry experience.  My dad liked to pour unbeaten cream over his shortcake. My mom usually set out the whipped cream, a jug of cream and some whole milk so you could chose how to finish off your personal shortcake.  I might add that I grew up on a farm so this was raw milk from grass pastured cows; fantastic cream equaling a freaking perfect shortcake topper.  We also grew our own berries; no chemical sprayed on them ever.

camping 6-16 006

Forgive the paper plate: I was at my mom’s assisted living and I do paper to save on clean up time plus her sink is miniscule!

If there is any left over it makes a great breakfast the next morning…

Originally published in June 2014, again last June and now in late June.  I confess I could not find local berries on Sunday, I used organic ones and only used the ripest berries for this cake. So can you, just set aside any underripe ones as they are not great in a shortcake.

I am thinking blackberries might be good with this shortcake biscuit. Going to try them tonight!

Strawberry Shortcake, Gluten Free and Fabulous!

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. Image

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!

Cake Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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.

Topping:

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.  Image

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.  Image

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.