The weather has been getting warmer and we've been busy here preparing for summer. It is absolutely our favorite time of the year as pleasant, long days lead into slightly cooler nights, allowing us to work almost non-stop at building our garden and home. It's amazing to reflect on how far we've come in such a short time here. A year ago the space that our garden is in now was barely tilled, we were still waiting for our compost to develop, and we hadn't had the time to start the majority of our plants from seed. In contrast, already this spring we have finished building the bulk of our raised beds, we've planted a ton of fruit trees and berries, and all the goats have started giving birth and producing milk.
We've been planning for summer in a lot of different ways, one of which includes putting away those rich, decadent desserts we shared all winter in exchange for lighter, more season-appropriate delicacies. There is perhaps nothing so timeless and delicious as fresh strawberries and cream. Ripe, flavorful strawberries will be coming into season soon, and the timing couldn't be better. These lovely days in the northeast are perfect for long brunches, and nothing tops off a great brunch quite like this amazingly light, simple, yet incredible strawberry dessert.
One of my favorite parts about this dish are the deliciously light buttermilk biscuits. These are great any time, and we bake them often as a stand alone recipe. Here, though, they're the perfect vessel for enjoying the strawberries and cream. Slightly sweetened with honey, and soft enough to soak up the juices from the strawberries, they almost melt in your mouth while providing a sumptuous contrast to the sweet strawberries and cream and still maintaining an airy texture throughout the whole dish. Of course the strawberries themselves need almost no modification, though cooking them down with a little sugar really highlights their ripe flavor. And, finally, the home made whipped cream provides a cool, light and rich pairing, bringing everything together wonderfully.
We really hope you enjoy these. They're very easy to make beforehand and assemble just before serving. Of course you can enjoy them year round, and even with frozen strawberries, but there's no real substitute to fresh, in-season strawberries.
Recipe: Strawberry Shortcake with Buttermilk Bisquits
- 1 lb. fresh strawberries
- 1/2 C sugar
- 2 C all-purpose flour
- 1 stick salted butter (cold)
- 3/4 C buttermilk
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 T baking powder
- 4 T honey
Whipped Cream Ingredients
- 1 C heavy cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 C confectioners sugar
- Preheat over to 400 F.
- Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in a food processor with a blade.
- Chop cold butter into squares, and add to flour mixture.
- Mix in the food processor until butter is combined with flour mixture and it balls together. Refrigerate mixture for 20 minutes.
- Whisk buttermilk and honey until combined. Set aside.
- Slice strawberries unto 1/4 inch slivers. combine with sugar, mix, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook down strawberry mixture until it thickens into a slightly runny syrup. Remove from heat.
- Remove biscuit dough from refrigerator and roll out into a rectangle. Fold it over onto itself, starting by bringing the left side over to the middle, then the right side over that as if you were folding a piece of paper to put into an envelope. Roll the dough out again, and repeat the folding 1 more time.
- Roll dough out to form a 1/2 inch rectangle. Use something cylindrical to cut circles in the dough. I like to use english muffin tins, but you could use a glass, or even a cookie cutter.
- Place dough rounds onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment, coat tops and sides with melted butter, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Using a kitchen mixer with the whisk attachment, mix heavy cream, confectioners sugar, and vanilla until whipped cream is formed. Chill until ready to use.
- When strawberries and biscuits are cooled, get creative, have fun, and enjoy this delicious, melt-in-your-mouth dessert.
Number of servings (yield): 6