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6.27.2011

This one's coming with me

On a Sunday night in June, you are required, by cosmic law, to make strawberry shortcake. I don’t know if you knew that. I just found out. There’s apparently a similar law for July, only it governs tomato-and-mayonnaise sandwiches. You’ve been warned.

Last week, we had two friends visiting from Scotland. Whenever we have visitors, I tend to want to take them to lots of restaurants, because that seems like the best way to show them our city, but when jet lag is involved, it feels mean to force anyone to sit upright or speak in complete sentences after approximately mid-afternoon. So on Sunday night, after a morning visit to the farmer’s market and a long walk down to Golden Gardens, past a cluster of plastic flamingos and a creepy guy digging for sand worms and back up the hill again, we decided to stay home. Our friends shelled peas and opened a bottle of wine, and I washed arugula, put on a pot of water for pasta, and got some sauce going.

While the pots were warming, I started thinking about the strawberries we had bought that morning, the first ones to show up this summer. Seattle is always slow to get its local summer fruits and vegetables, but this year has felt especially late – like, trains-in-Italy late. Now that we’ve actually got strawberries, I wanted to do right by them. I wanted to do something special, something celebratory, but I didn’t want it to be too special, to get in the way of tasting the fruit. And that, I think, is a pretty good way to describe shortcake.




When I was a kid, in Oklahoma, most people bought their shortcakes: the packaged kind from the grocery store, sealed in noisy plastic wrappers, yellow and spongy, shaped like large, concave hockey pucks – or maybe they were more like saucers? Deep saucers? Shallow ashtrays? Anyway, my mother refused to buy them. Instead, she baked her shortcakes from scratch, shoulder to shoulder in a 9”-x-13” pan, cooled and cut apart and sandwiched with whipped cream and strawberries macerated with sugar. But that was years ago, and when I asked her what recipe she used, she said she doesn’t remember. She said it was probably something from Martha Stewart, but she didn’t sound confident about it. We’ll never know. I was on my own.

The version I was after would not be spongy, but more like my mother’s, more like a biscuit. I like my shortcakes very tender, crumbly, and flaky – but more crumbly than flaky, ideally. I like the crumb very short and slightly sweet, and the top should be riddled with crags and lumps. The thin, outermost crust should be a little crisp at the edges, and when you stick a fork in, the crumb should yield with a quiet whoosh. That’s important.

So, Sunday night, I scoured my shelves, and I wound up settling on a recipe from Dorie Greenspan, my longtime hero when it comes to sweets, and her book Baking. She calls the recipe “Tender Shortcakes,” and that about nails it. I knew right away that I wanted to tell you about them.

There’s nothing inventive or even terribly blog-worthy about a classic strawberry shortcake, but we don’t need to reinvent the wheel every day. This blog is the place where I record my best stuff, and Dorie’s is the best shortcake I’ve ever had. Not only would I happily eat it on its own – on its own and, hell, maybe even a week stale! That’s true love – but it uses very basic ingredients, the kind I always have around: flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, butter, and cream. It also comes together like lightning, with no need for floured countertops, rolling pins, or cookie cutters. As nice desserts go, it’s pretty close to instant. This one’s coming with me into July.


Dorie Greenspan’s Tender Shortcakes
From Baking: From My Home to Yours

You could serve these shortcakes with any kind of berry, and I’ll bet sliced nectarines or peaches would also be outstanding. You’ll want about ½ cup fruit per serving. I like to keep it simple and toss the fruit only with sugar – a small amount, to taste – and whatever you do, be sure to let the sugared fruit sit for about 15 minutes before serving, so that it gets nice and juicy and some syrup pools at the bottom of the bowl. That’s the stuff. Serve with unsweetened, softly whipped cream.

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. sugar
1 ½ sticks (12 Tbsp.) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 ½ cups cold heavy cream

Center a rack in the oven, and preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Add the butter and, using your fingers, toss to coat with flour. Quickly, working with your fingertips, pinch and rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is pebbly. Some pieces of butter will be about the size of peas, while other will be more like flakes of oatmeal.

Pour the cream over the dry ingredients, and toss and gently turn the ingredients with a fork until you’ve got a very soft dough. You’ll probably still have some flour at the bottom of the bowl, so reach in and use your hand to mix and gently knead the dough until it’s evenly blended. But don’t get overzealous: it’s better to have a few dry spots than an overworked dough. The dough should be soft and sticky.

Cut the dough into 10 roughly equal portions (each will be about 1/3 cup), and put 5 or 6 of them on the baking sheet, leaving about 3 inches of space between them. Pat each portion down until it’s about 1 inch high. [The shortcakes can be made to this point, wrapped in plastic wrap, and stashed in the freezer. Bake without defrosting – just add 5+ minutes to the baking time.]

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the sheet from front to back midway through, until the shortcakes are puffed and give just a little when poked with a fingertip. Pull the pan from the oven, and carefully transfer the shortcakes to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheet first.

Serve the shortcakes slightly warm or at room temperature. To serve, use a serrated knife to gently cut each cake in half horizontally. (They’re fragile, so go easy.) Put the bottom halves on plates, top with berries and whipped cream, and then cap with the top halves.

Yield: 10 servings

123 Comments:

Blogger Georgia said...

My strawberry shortcake experience has always involved either Sara Lee pound cake slices (from mother's mother, who is a fabulous cook and baker...but, who knows) or some sort of crusty pastry thing involving Bisquick. I don't think I've ever had an actual shortcake (though I have had the hockey puck things).

10:54 AM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger jacqui said...

Waiting for strawberries did seem to take forever this year! I finally picked up my first ones last week and promptly put them in a salad and ate the rest by the fist full! Next on my list is a shortcake much like this one. I despise the plastic wrapped hockey puck versions too.

10:55 AM, June 27, 2011  
Anonymous A Plum By Any Other Name said...

Just and I mean just bought strawberries on my lunch break at the farmers' market. This recipe is coming with me ...tonight.

10:55 AM, June 27, 2011  
Anonymous Delyth said...

I live in Vancouver and it's good to know that you also have a late harvest in Seattle. There was a news report last week regarding the strawberries here, they have just ripened and the farmer was urging everyone to buy some now as they're exceptionally sweet, so I did, yesterday. In my native UK, they had such a hot April everything was a month early, I visited in May and the produce available was like mid - July.
www.thedelicious.net

10:56 AM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger Giulia Doyle said...

I love shortcake. There is a Martha Stewart recipe that it nice and crumbly, I made it for my hubbies birthday!
http://fishly-fishly.blogspot.com/2011/04/little-rainbow-on-rainy-birthday.html

10:57 AM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger The Yellow Door Paperie said...

This sounds so delightful, perfect for June-- in all it's strawberry glory.

10:57 AM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger Becca said...

Texas peaches are beginning to arrive in Dallas so I'll be trying Greenspan's shortcakes. Thanks for the recipe; looks grand.

10:58 AM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger Michelle Stiles said...

This one is coming with me, this weekend, as the strawberries and other plentiful berries start to peak in the PNW. I could not imagine ripping open a package of yellow pucks that are strangely spongy and wasting beautiful berries. Cheers to summer!

10:59 AM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger charlotte said...

why, thank you for that. now i know what to do with the strawberries in my kitchen :) and a big hello to those scottish visitors of yours!

11:02 AM, June 27, 2011  
Anonymous Maegan@ The Two Tables said...

mmm. This recipe (and your Sunday evening description) makes me want to run out to pick the last of this years' strawberries asap. In Nebraska, they come quite a bit sooner than on the West coast...but then they're gone sooner as well!

11:15 AM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger Nicole said...

I always hated (not exaggerating)strawberry shortcake when I was growing up because of those wrapped in noisy plastic sponge ashtrays you described. It has only since I discovered that everywhere outside the Midwest was eating good shortcake that I finally grew to love it. I have been looking for a good biscuit for shortcake this summer. I have had a few when eating out, but have yet to have a good one at home. I'm giving this a try.

11:20 AM, June 27, 2011  
Anonymous ruthie@thetwicebitten said...

Whipee for Scottish visitors (i'm Scottish and frankly bias).

I think there is a law for October too - pumpkin everything. What do you think?

11:20 AM, June 27, 2011  
Anonymous Renee said...

Beautiful. That is my ideal shortcake right there too, the kind I grew up having. [I'm sure my mom got the recipe from the standard Betty Crocker book - the big, yellow, very worn out one.] Thanks for another winning recipe. I'm keeping this one too!

11:22 AM, June 27, 2011  
Anonymous Molly said...

Arugula, shelling peas, strawberries! Isn't June just the best? I made biscuits for the first time in my life with this past round of CSA strawberries and was quite pleased with the results. I shall try this recipe out next, but just wanted to share this: macerate the strawberries in balsamic vinegar and freshly ground black pepper. Yup, that's right. So, so good.

11:23 AM, June 27, 2011  
Anonymous Virginia (framoi.se) said...

Mmmm -- I just got a bunch of new strawberries ($10 half-flat from a transitional farm at Phinney Far-Mar, right before closing!) and we ate them all weekend long. Just berries and cream, and sometimes a little "berry wash" -- I like to do a light bathing of a TEENY bit of maple syrup with a squirt of lemon juice instead of adding sugar to the berries; sometimes I even do maple syrup with about a quarter-teaspoon of lemon curd mixed in -- heavenly. Tangier and less sweet and slightly less glycemically cruel than pure sugar.

I wish I'd had this recipe on hand to make some accompanying shortcakes! Alas, that'll be for next weekend. I always get Recipe Overload when I search for something simple like this. Thanks for helping simplify!

11:24 AM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger london bakes said...

What a perfect meal for a Sunday evening in summer. Thank you Molly - sometimes simple recipes are the best.

11:39 AM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger Sarah Prinslow said...

Thanks for sharing this recipe- sounds so good! I'm so making these shortcakes to go with our next load of strawberries!

11:40 AM, June 27, 2011  
OpenID curlygirlpress said...

Oh glory, I'm looking forward to trying these! First Farmer's Market strawberries (that were lovely in my morning yogurt) - check! Biscuit-like shortcake love - check! Easy recipe for tender shortcake - check! Can woman live on strawberry shortcake alone? We'll see!

11:43 AM, June 27, 2011  
Anonymous Bev Weidner said...

I'm just wondering if there's any room inside that shortcake for me to snuggle.

I have cash.

11:48 AM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger GirlSavorsLife said...

I grew up with the more biscuit-like shortcakes then was introduced to the sponge variety as an adult. Ew. I like a true shortcake, real whip cream and lightly sweetened berries. Perfect. Sometimes, if I'm feeling wild, I'll throw in some raspberries too.

11:54 AM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger Erica said...

I've always thought the best part of strawberry shortcake was the strawberries and whipped cream. I've been know to conveniently 'forget' the cake when serving myself:) However, with a recipe from you I'll give it a try!

11:57 AM, June 27, 2011  
Anonymous Kasey said...

Strawberry shortcakes scream summer to me - they remind me of humid days that I often miss living in San Francisco, picnics, and fireflies, and everything that I love about being a kid in America. I recently made a twist on the class (thanks to a recipe in Flour) but I think that the classic is phenomenal.

12:08 PM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger abredro said...

You're description fits perfectly my memory of shortcake as a kid. My mom would refuse to buy the sponge ashtray things too. Naturally I considered them forbidden fruit and thought they must be awesome because mom only denied me awesome things. I had one when I was older and nearly spit it out. Those things are nasty. These though are delicious. I can't wait to make them. Thanks for reminding me.

12:09 PM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger Jeff said...

It's so sad when a family member doesn't recall a favorite recipe. My great aunt used to make the best cinnamon rolls but didn't share the recipe with other kitchen minded folk in the family before she died. And I've been trying to revive my grandpa's chili recipe, which he never wrote down, for years.

Glad you found a great substitute, but there's nothing like a favorite food item to bring back fond memories.

Happy Summer! Finally!

12:11 PM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger Spiral Style said...

Strawberry shortcake last night and tonight! I picked the berries yesterday and know that after tonight, I won't taste anything as good until the season next year. I like an almost biscuit-like shortcake. I have the Dorie Greenspan baking book but never thought to see if she had a shortcake recipe. I'll have to give it a try. By the way, I used to live near Seattle and drove about 40 minutes away to pick the biggest, sweetest berries I've EVER eaten. Enjoy the season.

12:21 PM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger jessicah said...

I just made some delicious strawberry shortcakes for Father's Day dinner. I agree, something about June requires them...

12:27 PM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger the old irish rose said...

No way! I didn't spend my Sunday night making strawberry shortcake, but I DID eat some last night! Crazy. It MUST be cosmically mandated...

12:33 PM, June 27, 2011  
Anonymous D. @ Outside Oslo said...

I remember those spongy yellow store-bought "shortcakes," too (if you can actually call them that). I've been meaning to find the perfect recipe, so thanks for helping me discover one that I'll be trying very soon--once the weather here in Seattle finally decides to stay in summer mode.

12:40 PM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger Ea Ejersbo said...

Oh yum! Since I don't know what shortcake is, I'll take this version as standard - I loved your description of how the look and texture of it should be. Our garden raspberries should be ready next week - maybe I'll try serving them with this.

12:41 PM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger domestic dish said...

I have made these before and love them as well. Love using something other than the store-bought mystery cakes!

12:50 PM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger Jaime said...

This is identical to my recipe except I add a little vanilla and a touch of nutmeg to the dough....OUT OF THIS WORLD.

1:16 PM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger Cristin said...

Sounds wonderful! A strawberry shortcake with a minimum amount of fuss is a win-win. Can't wait to try it.

1:24 PM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger Xaseem said...

My birthday is mid-June; when I was growing up my grandmother would bake shortcake for my birthday cake and top it with strawberries she grew in her Michigan yard and homemade whipped cream. I remember the empty bowl in the fridge getting cold for the whipped cream, and the absolutely perfect, not too sweet, shortcake. Thanks for this recipe, I'll use it soon. (I miss my Nana.)

1:42 PM, June 27, 2011  
Anonymous Lisa said...

They look scrumptious! Of course here in sunny VA strawberries are long past -- all y'all northernly folks make a girl ache for next spring! -- but I should try them with some blueberries or peaches, both sure to be here soon! I want to promise to try this shortcake recipe, but I've recently fallen for Alice Medrich's buckwheat strawberry shortcakes, and it's nice to stop looking and just put a thing into the repertoire sometimes, you know? But you make a good case for these. Mmmm.

1:57 PM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger Anna said...

mmmmm...that sounds heavenly. And I agree, those bright yellow sofa cushions at the store are awful and unnecessary when homemade is so simple to make. And you're right, it is a cosmic necessity because I too was chopping up strawberries and piling them on a scone last night :D

2:07 PM, June 27, 2011  
Anonymous Julie said...

Down here in Portland, we finally hit strawberry season too! The Farmer's Market over-floweth! Making up a batch of strawberry topping, strawberry salad and (will have to try your shortcake recipe!) strawberry shortcake. Thank you for the inspiration.

2:22 PM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger Amy said...

These sound delicious, can't wait to try them - though I am partial to my grandmother's recipe (who isn't?). In my opinion shortcakes should be more like biscuits thank sponge cake, but not everyone can agree, sadly. There is a story about my grandmother going to a family dinner at her mother-in-law's house. Mimi asked what she could bring, and was told she could bring strawberry shortcake. So Mimi made shortcakes like HER mother always made, which are similar to the ones you made. When she turned up, she was told that they was wrong, that she should have made angel food cake! 60 years later, though Mimi tells the story with a twinkle in her eye, it's still obvious how mortified she felt at the time.

2:28 PM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger union street kitchen witch said...

We celebrated my cousin's birthday last week with a homemade strawberry shortcake like this. My sister made the biscuits and I whipped the cream by hand, my favourite party trick. It doesn't take long at all, but keep your wrist relaxed or your shoulder will cramp up immediately!

There's just nothing like it, especially with sweet perfect berries that have never seen the inside of a refrigerator, their red juices running together with whipped cream and chunks of slightly sweet, flaky biscuits. Sometimes we gild the lily by sandwiching a little vanilla ice cream in, too.

Our berry season in NS is gone in the blink of an eye, so we use that excuse to eat strawberry shortcake anytime. Thanks for the great biscuit recipe!

2:38 PM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger Heather said...

The strawberries ARE late this year! The farmers up in the Skagit Valley where I live are estimating about 6 weeks late. The corn is just little teeny sprouts right now, so we'll be waiting on that too, no Knee-high by 4th of July this year! Very sad cold spring for us!

2:42 PM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger Riyaad Ali said...

My fiancee is a pastry chef, and on our first date she chose to make a strawberry shortcake for dessert. It was a similar recipe to this, and is my favorite dessert she's ever made.

3:02 PM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger Mercermom said...

I love that someone shares my firm belief in the necessity of the annual strawberry shortcake! I use a recipe clipped from Sunset long ago, which has a bit of lemon and egg in the biscuit, and crystalized ginger and creme fraiche in the whipped cream. Tipping a little toward the extravagant, but still a biscuit with berries and jam.

3:25 PM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger FrancisFoodie said...

I confess that this is one of the first posts that I've ever read from you and now I really understand why you have so many followers. Your writing is slick, visual, and really makes me want to make strawberry shortcake!

I'm a big fan of the farmer's markets and I do agree with you how late everything is coming. Better late than never, though. Strawberries, salad greens, asparagus, and heirloom tomatoes have been flowing in my kitchen lately. I really want to take your lead and try making some kind of berry dessert, and this recipe might be the one I start with.

Thank you!

@francisfoodie
www.francisfoodie.com

3:44 PM, June 27, 2011  
OpenID highplainsdrifters said...

Did you use "Oklahoma" and "shortcake" in the same sentence? Oh, the horror ... the horror ...

3:59 PM, June 27, 2011  
Anonymous martina said...

I'm so glad you posted this recipe. Almost bought premade shortcakes at the Market but they had too many fakey ingredients.

4:09 PM, June 27, 2011  
OpenID flowercityfoodie.com said...

Perfect! This is just how I remember strawberry shortcake growing up--other people eating those weirdo hockey puck-like spongey things, and my family using biscuits. I can't wait to try this recipe.

4:59 PM, June 27, 2011  
Anonymous Ilke said...

I think they are a great summer dessert couple as well! It just goes well together and simple.

5:23 PM, June 27, 2011  
Anonymous Daughter Fish said...

This and your deviled eggs makes two recipes I want to make for 4th of July camping! We're deep in strawberries in New York, so this will be perfect. Looking forward to those tomato-mayo sandwiches...

5:57 PM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger mummydinosaur said...

I've been making mini strawberry pavlovas - (small meringue nest, strawberries, whipped cream) since I picked up strawberries at the fruit stand on Friday (our first of the season) - this looks like it could be tried when the merigues are done. Yum.

6:02 PM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger B. said...

i'm actually gearing up to make nigella lawson's version of these. but i can make these too. and eat both. and let you know how it goes. =D

7:07 PM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger Janice said...

Mmmm, sounds like the amazing shortcakes my (american-born of off-the-boat-French-parents) step-mother, Genevieve (herself pretty amazing), made for me. I had never had homemade before- only those spongy hockey puck looking things, her's were special and these sound like them.

Thanks for sharing, these look like something to try right now, even without the strawberries!

7:13 PM, June 27, 2011  
Anonymous Karen Lee said...

I love "plain" shortbread like this but for a real treat try adding some vanilla. It takes shortbread to a whole new place. I may never go back to plain shortbread.

7:18 PM, June 27, 2011  
Anonymous Lisa in western MA said...

Just what I wanted -- thanks! I picked 23.5 pounds of strawberries a couple of weeks ago (yes, I overdid it a tad) and most went into the freezer. Now that I'm not slicing quart after quart I can make shortcake! This should be just the thing to take to Tanglewood this weekend ... and with strawberry shortcake like this one, who needs a main course?

7:43 PM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger Eileen said...

Molly, your blog is so lovely and I love how you tie personal anecdotes with food. You've inspired me to get back onto my blog too. I just wrote a little post about you on my first "come back" post. You can look at it if you have some free time! (myfoodmyhappiness.blogspot.com)

8:00 PM, June 27, 2011  
Anonymous Dalaimama said...

I use James Beard's crem biscuit recipe, which is almost exactly the same as this. I also sprinkle just a bit of sugar on top of the biscuit before baking so it gets that lovely bit of crunch on top.

8:04 PM, June 27, 2011  
Anonymous Maureen said...

This is so much better than those yellow hockey pucks they sold when I was a kid. Give me the real thing any day. Strawberries were made for cream.

8:42 PM, June 27, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you mean "cooling the baking sheet" instead of "cooking the baking sheet."

9:56 PM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger Amanda Lyn said...

Ah, Seattle summer. I take all of my guests to the Ballard Farmers Market for my Sunday morning shopping, and it was wonderful to see berries this week. Great choice!

10:16 PM, June 27, 2011  
Anonymous fashion marketing blog said...

I love shortcake. There is a Martha Stewart recipe that it nice and crumbly.I despise the plastic wrapped hockey puck versions too.

11:44 PM, June 27, 2011  
Blogger Lucia said...

Train-in-Italy late :-) Funny. I'm Italian, and unfortunately I must agree ;-)

1:46 AM, June 28, 2011  
Anonymous Sharon Ní Chonchúir said...

Would you believe I've never had strawberry shortcake? I think this sad state of affairs is about to be rectified very soon...

2:42 AM, June 28, 2011  
Blogger Lynne said...

Strawberry shortcake just doesn't taste the same unless it's made with real biscuits. And getting a bite of the biscuit, with the juice, some strawberries and that whipped cream...mmmmmmmm...

6:17 AM, June 28, 2011  
Anonymous Lindsay said...

Oregon berries have been taking their sweet time too. This recipe is timely; my birthday is this Saturday and I've promised my workmates that I will bring in strawberry shortcake on Friday to celebrate. Thanks!

8:11 AM, June 28, 2011  
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8:32 AM, June 28, 2011  
Anonymous Paula @ Dishing the Divine said...

Add some blueberries to the middle and we can call it a 4th of July dessert. :)

9:34 AM, June 28, 2011  
Anonymous Andrea @ From the Bookshelf said...

Well, then I best get moving on this strawberry shortcake before I disrupt the cosmos! Great post!

9:34 AM, June 28, 2011  
Anonymous Leslie said...

Growing up in Vermont our strawberry shortcake was "biscuit" based like yours but with one addition - butter the shortcake before putting on the berries. Trust me, this is worth the extra calories and what a sublime dessert it is!

9:55 AM, June 28, 2011  
Anonymous Culinary School: Three Semesters of Life, Learning, and Loss of Blood said...

I was just in Seattle - I hit one of the farmer's markets and was delighted. Shame I didn't have my culinary school with me; I was itching to cook!

10:07 AM, June 28, 2011  
Anonymous Cat Soup said...

I can confirm the hockey puck thingys are still here in Oklahoma, usually stacked next to the equally wretched cheap Angel Food cake suggested as an alternative. Sadly, my mother did not refuse to buy them and how bad they are has remained with me througout life. I believe this is the single reason I cook/bake from scratch. Thank you for this.

10:08 AM, June 28, 2011  
Anonymous Carrie Melissa said...

This is so going on my July 4th dessert menu.

And, oh! what's that? Independence Day falls on a Monday? I guess that means I'll be making it on a Sunday evening then. Your theory holds true. :)

11:17 AM, June 28, 2011  
Blogger deborah said...

my gourmet cook mother has made each of her kids their birthday cake or pie of choice since we were little. for el (march) , the zuppenglaise, for pam (june), chocolate mousse, for me (july 3rd) sponge cake with whipped cream icing and strawberry whipped cream filling; and for hugh and my father both (april), lemon meringue pie..... i am working on a food memoir about my mother and pies, tarts and fruit desserts chapter is almost ready! let them eat cake is already done! thanks for the reminder that summer is here!!

11:43 AM, June 28, 2011  
Anonymous Annie said...

I love this post for 3 reasons: 1. I just love the term "trains-in-Italy-slow"...exactly what it's like here in Wyoming to wait for summer. 2. I have been stewing about having to make a carrot cake for my husband's surprise 50th this weekend, which I detest, and now I have my out. He loves strawberry shortcake almost as much! 3. I agree that we don't need to reinvent the wheel every day in the kitchen. Well put!

12:38 PM, June 28, 2011  
OpenID labuonaforchetta said...

"Trains-in-Italy slow." I love this. Strawberry shortcake sounds perfect too right now...

1:36 PM, June 28, 2011  
Anonymous Karen said...

Oh YUM! My friend Lis just introduced your blog to me. Like you, I grew up in Oklahoma and have made my way to the NW -- hopping up and down I-5 it seems, time spent in Seattle, Southern OR, and now settling in Portland. Can't wait to read more!

2:07 PM, June 28, 2011  
Anonymous Two Chicks Cater said...

Strawberry Shortcake after a tomato and mayo sandwich ! Thats a sunday supper. Thanks for the recipe!

2:27 PM, June 28, 2011  
Blogger Robyn said...

Here in New Orleans, strawberries melted out about 2 months ago. At least I have a freezer full of jam to sustain me. How about a blueberry post? Love your blog so much, you're who I turn to when I have a pile of veggies to deal with and have no idea where to start. In fact, I spent the morning digging up my shallot crop - I'll be vinegar roasting them this week. Love your taste and writing.

2:52 PM, June 28, 2011  
Anonymous mon petit chou said...

This.Looks.Perfect. Thanks for always sharing.

Sara

3:44 PM, June 28, 2011  
Blogger Mary Ann said...

I learned to make the biscuit style shortcakes early in my marriage after just such an experience with the yellow spongy grocery store ones. When we were married in 1963, my husband brought one cookbook with him, a little paperback. I found the shortbread recipe similar to yours and have used it now for 47 years!
We have only had blackberries from our CSA. Wouldn't that be lovely with shortcake?

4:19 PM, June 28, 2011  
OpenID themoveablefeasts said...

Ah who needs to reinvent the wheel when it comes to cooking? Simple things like a tender shortcake with strawberries is so perfect just the way it is!

I love your strawberry shortcake law, however it feels wrong to be eating strawberry shortcakes when there's still rain outside and crummy weather here in Washington. :(

4:52 PM, June 28, 2011  
Blogger EB of SpiceDish said...

A perfect strawberry shortcake is always blogworthy. Always.

5:16 PM, June 28, 2011  
Blogger marilynette said...

Where is the butter that is slathered on the warm shortcake before the strawberries are added??!

5:51 PM, June 28, 2011  
Anonymous Kimby said...

This was the most descriptive, spot-on "memoir" of strawberry short cake I've ever read. Bravo.

7:13 PM, June 28, 2011  
Blogger Julie said...

I am literally salivating for strawberry shortcake. Sadly, strawberry season is long over in SC--but peaches would be scrumptious, I think...I might need a midnight baking spree tonight.

I just adore your writing, recipes, and stories. Your writing seems so effortless--each word perfectly placed, and each image makes me wish for a scratch-and-sniff monitor. Your blog and book are just such pleasures to read--looking forward to the new book!

8:00 PM, June 28, 2011  
Blogger Joy said...

The short cake looks lovely.

8:24 PM, June 28, 2011  
OpenID syrupandbiscuits said...

I have serious Strawberry Shortcake envy. Strawberry season in my area, central Florida, is history. My bias is for the shortcake that is more like biscuit than spongecake, also. In my dreams, it will be strawberry season again soon. In my dreams.

9:48 PM, June 28, 2011  
Blogger Laurel said...

Sounds delicious! This recipe is almost identical to the one I use! Thanks for reminding me to use the strawberries in this fashion.

10:18 PM, June 28, 2011  
Blogger Amanda Hawkins said...

Fascinating that Dorrie is your go-to for baking! I thought she was the vegetarian goddess? Oh, she is. But I have her Baking book, and maybe opened it on a day I was considering the ill effects of sugar, because it just did not inspire. I guess I'll have to give her baking another chance. Thanks. Here's to not reinventing the wheel.

9:58 AM, June 29, 2011  
Anonymous Sasha (Global Table Adventure) said...

That's exactly the sort of shortcake I can get behind. I live in Tulsa, OK and I know exactly what you mean about the spongy supermarket variety. Even Whole Foods sells 'em. I just am not into it. I much prefer something closer to a biscuit. :)

12:49 PM, June 29, 2011  
Anonymous MOMSICLE VIBE said...

Read this when I was already hungry. I am doomed for deliciousness. Thank you very much.

2:50 PM, June 29, 2011  
Blogger Kathy said...

Your thoughts on treating a jet-lagged friend gently reminds me of Laurie Colwin's thoughts on the subject. She recommends, I think, lentil soup and a ham sandwich...? Been a while. Need to hunker down with those books for the millionth time.

3:53 PM, June 29, 2011  
Anonymous susieq said...

I made this shortcake with BEAUTIFUL local berries (if you live in Seattle go to Ballard Market and buy the local ones from Burlington - they were wonderful). It was grand! My children liked it, but were disppointed by the lack of whip cream from a can (I made the real stuff which is apparently inferior). Where have I failed as a parent?

8:10 PM, June 29, 2011  
Anonymous MOMSICLE VIBE said...

One of the book clubbers and I whipped up a batch tonight. We had to double the amount of cream to get a "soft and sticky" dough... They turned out marvelous. Because our cream ration ran out on the dough, we ended up drizzling warm, sweetened cream cheese over these babies and it was like birthday morning surprise! Yum.

8:19 PM, June 29, 2011  
Anonymous Sarah Chestnut said...

I've had it in mind to make Strawberry Shortcakes for my son's first birthday. It will be the first cake he tastes. And the first time be tries whipped cream. Oh boy oh boy oh boy. Finding your recipe confirms my intentions. Shortcakes it is.

9:38 PM, June 29, 2011  
Anonymous Imen McDonnell said...

Molly, I am enamored with this blog and devoured your book in a week's time (not easy living on a farm!)..forgive me, but I was only introduced to you very recently by a lit agent who was lovely enough to share and I just can't get enough! Ironically, I blogged about strawberry shortcake recently too...Irish strawbs are really brilliant, and also I was a bit homesick for America so it made me smile. I love how you described those comical packaged shortcakes from the grocery..."an ashtray?" LOL.
Thanks for repeatedly making my day!
Imen xx

9:48 AM, June 30, 2011  
Blogger *PrairieGirl* said...

i made these last night and they're perfect! the only thing i did different was bake them in a hot cast iron skillet with a little butter at the bottom (my favorite way to make biscuits). we may or may not just have these for dinner tonight...

3:16 PM, June 30, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sponge ashtray! hahaaha...actually I think they look like red blood cells :) biscuits are the way to go

3:26 AM, July 01, 2011  
Anonymous Joan Schipper said...

As I read, I thought "what Molly needs is a good cream biscuit recipe..." and that is just what Dorie provided. Perfect.
But now I'm wondering about adding vanilla as was suggested in a comment. Could we go beyond perfect? I'll try this weekend but I'm going for peaches and whipped cream. Thanks for the inspiration.
Happy Independence Day!

7:04 AM, July 01, 2011  
Blogger Katie said...

I made my strawberry shortcake during a May Saturday, but I'll have to try out this recipe sometime this July!

6:19 PM, July 01, 2011  
Blogger janna said...

My dad LOVED those spongy shortcakes. He was a child of the Depression, and always loved store-bought baked goods, I guess because they were a real splurge in his childhood. And this despite the fact that my mother is a great baker!

Anyway, I've tried many biscuit-type shortcake recipes over the years, and they've always been too, well, "biscuity." These look much nicer, and I can't wait to try them. Although, in my heart, those store-bought shortcakes will always be special to me, because the remind me of Dad.

7:06 PM, July 01, 2011  
Blogger ann.e said...

My memory is about like yours - passing by those 4-packs at the grocery store, my mom would make her own *perfect* biscuits. I have yet to figure out her recipe because she doesn't remember either!! I can't wait to try these!

8:15 PM, July 01, 2011  
Anonymous miri leigh said...

I always need new ways to use my strawberries....and this will be it. Thanks for the great recipe!

9:09 AM, July 02, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been debating what to do for my twin's first birthday cake...this is it! Thanks!!

1:46 PM, July 02, 2011  
Anonymous Lily said...

I was literally wandering over to Orangette to search your recipes for shortcake for a true Americana summer holiday weekend. There shortcake was, looking right at me. Cosmos, universe. The strawberries have finally arrived in ol' Vermont, and this shortcake is who they're destined to spend the 4th of July with.

3:38 PM, July 02, 2011  
Blogger Matt said...

I wish I'd heard of shortcakes before! They're not something we have over here in the UK, as far as I know. As such, I think I'm going to have to experience them first-hand. Your description of them is incredibly... I don't know. Visceral. Thank you! :)

4:16 PM, July 02, 2011  
Anonymous Lalage said...

Is shortcake the same as shortbread? This recipe sounds yummy - never made short(bread?) with cream. Gnom gnom. Shall be trying it out sharpish. John Torode gives 3:2:1 ratios for shortbread (flour:butter:sugar) which works really well and makes me feel cheffy because I can remember it. And then show people how clever I am.

I published a recipe for macerated strawberries (for when the strawbs are bit crap, and they frequently are in my neck of the woods) on my blog, and they go really well with shortbread.

http://beetrootcontessa.blogspot.com/2011/06/strawberries-with-rosewater-and-basil.html

ps. I have your book on order - v. excited.

4:00 AM, July 03, 2011  
OpenID theartfulgardener said...

Wow! I want to try this but with a yogurt whipped cream that's to die for. The original version is from the Vegetarian Times mag but you can find a link to it and an ever so slightly changed recipe here on my blog. Enjoy MOUNDS of this on your shortcake it's worth it!

http://theartfulgardener.wordpress.com/2011/04/19/strawberry-shortcakes/

Laura

2:56 PM, July 03, 2011  
Blogger Cheryl Arkison said...

Just reading the post now, but I made those exact shortcakes last week. So yummy!
Growing up we always had shortcake with angle food cake. Not sure why, but the biscuit idea was news to me when I moved away from home.

7:29 AM, July 04, 2011  
Blogger 54th Avenue said...

I never had strawberry shortcake growing up. We pretty much ate our strawberries as is or made them into an ice cream topping by slicing them up, adding sugar, and freezing them. Oh YUM! My family had an ice cream thing. I am definately going to have to try this recipe though.

10:39 AM, July 04, 2011  
Blogger carmenpiva said...

I've just come here first time. Amazing blog, you have!!
I'll pop in from time to time, but I won't be posting in mine until Sepetember.
Very pleased to have "found" you
xxx from Spain

12:05 PM, July 04, 2011  
Blogger Eva / Sycamore Street Press said...

Yep. Every June, I have to make strawberry shortcake several times. It's my favorite dessert, I think, but I only make it this time of year. Mine sounds very similar to this one, only I usually go the even easier route and bake one big shortcake that we cut into individual portions afterwards. This way seems more festive and pretty, though.

1:25 PM, July 04, 2011  
Blogger Michelle said...

Thanks so much for sharing this. I am not confident in my baking skills, but this seems like something I could handle. Tomorrow I'll hunt down some fruit worthy of this shortcake.

I also wanted to share that when I have strawberries and cream, I like to spike the whipped cream with a bit of amaretto or almond extract. It's absolutely addictive with berries.

6:07 PM, July 04, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was dubious. A scone is a scone is a scone, once you have a good scone recipe. And I think mine originally came from this post, anyway! But this, this is an entirely different ball of wax. I used freshly milled flour, and Kerrygold butter (thank you, butter Spilled Milk podcast), and I sprinkled sugar on top before baking, and these were totally and completely out of this world. The most tender scones I have ever made.

7:32 AM, July 05, 2011  
Anonymous okie norma said...

I've been following your blog for quiet some time because I have two 'connections'...I live in Oklahoma, and my son lives in Seattle!
About the strawberry shortcake: my childhood memory is my mother's version of baking a very large shortcake in a round cake pan (bisquit-style), halving it horizontally, adding the strawberry layers, and serving as a large "cake", cutting servings in pie shapes. Meanwhile, my former husband's Arkansas kin thought it was great to serve sliced stawberries over crushed soda crackers...yuck!

11:09 AM, July 05, 2011  
Blogger theminx said...

My most recent successful shortcake attempt involved a modified scone recipe. They were light and fluffy and perfect: http://www.minxeats.com/2011/04/strawberry-shortcake.html

7:39 AM, July 06, 2011  
Anonymous Isabel from Pretty Tasty Things said...

I have all these ingredients at home! I love this stuff, I know my husband will love it even more. I'm glad I found your blog...love the simplicity and the images. Beautiful!

6:18 AM, July 07, 2011  
Anonymous chau said...

Thanks for this recipe! I made it for the 4th and it was delicious!

4:11 PM, July 07, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made these last night and hoo, boy, they are amazing. I halved the recipe and found I needed a little bit more cream to get the biscuits to hold together. Now I'm wishing I had made all 10! Thanks to Molly and Dorie.

5:36 AM, July 10, 2011  
Blogger Damon said...

Just made these as it took me awhile to come across some strawberries from the farmer's market. I didn't have enough cream on hand to put it both in the shortcake and to whip for the cream so I substituted the cream called for in the recipe with some yogurt and water (my husband is a chef and suggested this, I would not have figured this out on my own!) and they came out great. Now I'll have to try it as it's written and compare.
Delicious.

4:51 PM, July 10, 2011  
Anonymous Leah said...

Thank you so much for this recipe. I made it for the 4th, and it was perfect. I accidentally dropped one of them all over the floor, whipped cream and all, and actually may have cried a little (also because I broke one of my favorite dishes, but still).

6:53 PM, July 10, 2011  
Anonymous Pia @ Peppercorns in my Pocket said...

Ooh, something strawberry! Two reasons why I need to borrow this recipe: My little girl can have strawberries as starter, main course and dessert. And I've never made shortcake before. So, thanks for this.

3:25 PM, July 13, 2011  
Blogger Kat said...

I love the shortcake recipe in the Junior League of Seattle Cookbook, Celebrate the Rain. It too produces shortcakes like biscuits. It has a hint of cinnamon, lovely.

7:45 AM, July 14, 2011  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Just found this wonderful recipe and tried it last night. We are past prime strawberry season here (WI)but I got some great peaches at the market and decided to try grilling them. I cut them up and macerated them with some Grand Marnier and sugar and put them over these shortcakes. A little cream whipped with some Grand Marnier was the finishing touch, Yum! I have to admit, I changed up the recipe a bit and made it into more of a scone with some cinnamon sugar on top, sorry Dorie! This is going into my permanent file.

9:01 PM, July 18, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to trying out this recipe. Thanks for posting--I can't wait to surprise the family.

this is the first time I've vistited your blog, and I've really enjoyed it. Thanks for all the chuckles you bring!

10:15 AM, February 18, 2012  
Blogger Jael said...

I'm more of a lurker than a commenter, but I kind of just wanted to tell you that this is the best shortcake recipe, hands down. I've made it at least a dozen times since I found it last strawberry season, and a couple of Sundays ago I made it for the first time this season. They're in the oven again right now, and I can't wait. I have a flat of strawberries we picked this morning, and I plan on spending at least a third of them on shortcake. Thanks.

5:30 PM, June 12, 2013  

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