When I was kid my family would pile into the station wagon and head to a local farm known for their fields of delicious, ripe, juicy berries. It was such a treat because you got to pick your own berries. All kinds of berries: raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries. I’m quite sure that they sold other produce, but I was most excited about the strawberries. Not only because I loved their sweet-tart taste, but because when we got home I knew there would be strawberry shortcake for dessert. Mom didn’t make it with the store bought sponge cake. You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones you can find next to the containers of strawberries at your supermarket. Nope. She used a warm, homemade, melt-in-your-mouth biscuits. It was perfect because they were the ideal vessel to hold all the sweet juices from the strawberries. Oh yes. It was my favorite dessert as child. So when I went to the French Market (read: Farmer’s Market) and found all of these little beauties? I knew what was going to happen…Strawberry Shortcake.
But I wanted to give it a bit of a twist…citrus. (Get it? See what I did there…? Am I the only one giggling? Oh well. I’m used to it.)
So I added orange zest and juice to the berries and then added lemon and orange zest to the whipped cream. The result? Oh. My. Goodness. The citrus makes the strawberries even more…strawberry-ey. How does stuff like that work? It’s science I’m sure. Something I don’t completely understand, but it’s OK. Because the result? Yummy in my tummy!!
I used my cast iron skillet to make biscuits in. It’s the only way really. The bottoms get all crispy and the middles are all fluffy. I love how the steam spills out of them when you open them up with fork and that scent hits your nose. It’s a little bit of magic. Your tongue is like, “Oh I know what’s about to happen and I am certainly OK with that!” It’s a real thing. Just try it. You’ll see.
The whipped cream was a new twist for me. I’ve always been a straight forward, heavy cream + sugar + vanilla + electric mixer = YUM. But like I said, I really wanted to try something new. So I zested the other half of the orange and a lemon and threw it into the bowl with the other parts of the YUM equation and I was not disappointed. It was so good! SO GOOD YOU GUYS!!
Putting the all the pieces of this tasty treat together resulted in this work of art….
Isn’t she so pretty? Pretty enough to eat. So I did. The whole thing. I’m not one bit sorry.
Until next time,
The Blushing Baker 😉
Strawberry Shortcake with Citrus Whipped Cream
1 lb of fresh strawberries, cleaned, hulled and sliced
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Zest of 1/2 an orange
1/8 cup of fresh orange juice
Biscuits/Shortcake (adapted from http://southern.food.com/recipe/southern-buttermilk-biscuits-26110)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tbsp salt
3 tbsp sugar (optional – I used it as these were for a dessert)
3 tbsp really cold butter, cut into cubes
3 tbsp shortening
1 cup buttermilk
Citrus Whipped Cream
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup confectioner’s powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of 1/2 an orange
Zest of 1 lemon
Heat oven to 450 degrees.
Prepare berry mixture by adding the sugar, vanilla, zest and juice of orange in a large bowl. Refrigerate while you prepare the biscuits.
You’ll combine all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl or the bowl of a food processor (that’s what I use). Give it a pulse or a whisk. Add in your butter and shortening and give it a few quick pulses (or use a pastry cutter). Once the dough is like the consistency of peas, add in your cup of cold buttermilk. Mix it only until it comes together. If you over mix it, your biscuits won’t melt in your mouth – they will be tough. Ick! Turn your dough out onto a floured board (or countertop) and gently pat it into a 12″ round shape that’s about an 1″ thick. It will be sticky! It’s ok to get your hands dirty 🙂 Then use a biscuit cutter or drinking glass and cut out your biscuits. Place biscuits into a cast iron skillet and bake for about 13 minutes.
While the biscuits are baking, combine cream, sugar, vanilla, and zests into a very cold bowl (I put mine in the freezer) and whip on medium-high speed with an electric hand mixer until you get firm peaks. Refrigerate.
Put a small pat of butter on a split biscuit and then pile on the strawberries and top with whipped cream. Enjoy!!