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Classic American Strawberry Shortcake
Recipe from The '21' Cookbook, Michael Lomonaco, Doubleday © 1995

These shortcakes are similar in style and method to a traditional biscuit dough. For maximum flakiness, do not overmix. The dough should remain lumpy and mealy in texture in order to achieve a truly delicate cake.

Serves 6

Shortcake:

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus 1 tablespoon butter (for the cookie sheet)

Filling:
1 quart strawberries

Topping:
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Garnish:
Confectioner's sugar

To make the shortcakes: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. After the dry ingredients are thoroughly blended, add the buttermilk, cream, and cold butter in quick succession, combining only briefly, to leave the mixture as lumpy as possible. Or use a food processor fitted with a dough blade. Combine the dry ingredients, pulse briefly, then add the liquid ingredients and butter, and pulse briefly.

Turn this lumpy dough out onto a lightly floured board and flatten gently with a rolling pin into a squarish shape approximately 1-inch thick. Cut into 6 equal squares. Spread 1 tablespoon butter on a non-stick cookie sheet, place the squares on the sheet, and place the entire cookie sheet in the refrigerator to rest 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 375°. Bake the chilled shortcakes 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are nicely browned.

While the shortcakes are baking, make the filling and topping. Clean and slice the strawberries. Whip the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla together into soft peaks. When the shortcakes are finished baking, allow them to cool 5 minutes. Then spilt them in half, slather the bottom with 2 or 3 tablespoons whipped cream and 1/2 cup sliced strawberries, cover with the top biscuit, and sprinkle with confectioner's sugar.

   



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