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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Strawberry Shortcake

I brought home some beautiful strawberries I had found at the store.  Then, when my husband got home from work he informed that he too had decided to buy some strawberries.  After we finished laughing over how much we think alike, I started to think about what I could do with this unexpected plethora of strawberries.  Thank you again, Deb Perelman.  These shortcakes came out sooooooo good.  When I read the recipe and saw that it called for hard-boiled egg yolks, I reread it a couple of times before I actually believed my own eyes.  If I was getting this recipe off of any other food blog, I would have moved on to another.  But I have tried enough of Deb Perelman's posts to know that I could trust her.  I followed all the measurements by the weights she provided.  I dialed down the sugar in the strawberries, but I added sugar to the whipped cream (which I doubled by the way - you can never have too much whipped cream.)  The result was the best strawberry shortcake I have ever tasted.  This is an incredibly quick and easy recipe, and the results were impressive.  I can't wait to make it again.

Strawberry Shortcake
adapted from Smitten Kitchen adapted from Claudia Fleming and Russ Parsons

Serves 6

1 2/3 cups (224 grams) all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tablespoons (50 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon (20 grams) baking powder
2 hard-boiled egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (84 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 teaspoons lemon or orange zest (optional - I didn't bother with it)
2/3 cup (168 grams) plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream

1 pound strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered
1-1/2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
2 teaspoon lemon juice

2 cups whipping cream
2 Tbsp confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla

Chill a large bowl.  Then add the whipping cream, confectioner's sugar and vanilla and beat with a hand mixer until stiff peaks form.  Cover and place in the fridge until ready to assemble the shortcakes.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, egg yolks, and salt. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and zest, if using, and pulse until the flour resembles coarse meal. Add 2/3 cup of cream and pulse until the dough comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gather into a shaggy mass. Knead a couple times to make it into a cohesive mass and then pat it into a rough circle about 6 to 7 inches in diameter, and 3/4 to 1-inch thick.

Use a cookie cutter of your choice to cut out the shortcakes and place them on a lined baking sheet. Chill for 20 minutes (and up to 2 hours).

Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush the tops of the shortcakes very lightly with heavy cream and sprinkle lightly with the coarse sugar. Bake until risen and golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Turn the pan around halfway through to ensure even cooking.

While the shortcakes are baking, toss the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice together in a bowl. Let stand several minutes. (If the strawberries are extremely firm, do this 30 minutes in advance.)

Split the shortcakes in half horizontally and set the tops aside. Place the bottoms on dessert plates and heap strawberries over them. Spoon whipped cream generously over the strawberries and replace the shortcake tops. Serve immediately with any remaining whipped cream on the side.

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