If I ended up on death row and tonight’s dinner was destined to be my last meal, I would you ask you for an over-sized portion of my mom’s baked spaghetti. It’s nothing fancy, really- diced onion, ground beef, and canned tomato sauce, baked together with cooked spaghetti noodles under a blanket of shredded mozzarella and parmesan- but to me, no baked spaghetti could ever taste as good to me as hers. Other contenders for my last meal just may include something similar to today’s recipe: strawberry shortcake .
One of the first foods I can remember learning to make is biscuits. Growing up, my Mimi would prepare her famous chicken and dumplings, and I would watch her cut the fat into the the flour, rolling out the dough and cutting each biscuit round out with the lip of a slender drinking glass. Mimi’s take on chicken and dumplings included baking the biscuits in the oven and smothering them with the chicken and thickened sauce. If we were lucky, she would prepare extra biscuits and these would become the foundation pieces for a dessert of strawberry shortcake. We would macerate berries in sugar and make a generous bowl of whipped cream to dollop over the sweet berries and warm biscuits. The words “strawberry shortcake” will always be synonymous with Mimi and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
And isn’t that the one of the coolest things about food? Food can take you somewhere- to a place, to a time, to a feeling. Just the smell of certain foods make me feel like I’m a kid again, or on a first date, or fanning the kitchen after scorching something on the bottom of the oven. Foods jar memories, emotions, and a range of other things because those moments become apart of us. Baked spaghetti and strawberry shortcake, to me, is more than just a meal- it’s a memory of home.
I want to create moments like that with my kids. I want them to grow up and say their version of some food was better because it was apart of their memories… because eating that food was like sharing a meal with their mom again.
Okay, I swear I’m not crying over here. (Read: I am.) #pregnancyhormones
We should move on. Let’s get to the good stuff. The nitty gritty. Let’s talk strawberry shortcake.
Starting with my Mimi’s biscuit recipe and modifying to make a sweeter, more scone-like shortcake, this strawberry shortcake recipe features roasted strawberries and really, realllly good honey whipped cream. Roasting the strawberries intensifies their strawberry-ness and makes an otherwise ordinary dessert really something to talk about. And the honey whipped cream? Well, let’s just say I’m putting this bad boy on everything now.
If I were you, I’d double the batch of shortcakes and plan on eating those little nuggets for breakfast all week long. Monday could be butter and honey, Tuesday could be fresh preserves and left over honey whipped cream, Wednesday could be hazelnut spread and marshmallow fluff… the possibilities are endless. The bottom line is that with summer just around the corner and fresh berries on the verge of taking over your grocery store, you NEED a strawberry shortcake recipe that is for the books. Done and done.
- 2 cups flour
- 1-1/2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cold
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1-1/2 pounds of strawberries, stemmed, hulled, and cut into 1/2" pieces
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1-1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
- Using a pastry cutter or the back of a fork, cut in the butter until well combined and with pea-sized clumps uniformly throughout.
- Add 3/4 cup of the cream and mix just until well combined and a soft, shaggy dough is formed.
- For rustic shortcakes, use an ice cream scoop or a spoon to portion out 1/4 cup mounds of dough and flatten them slightly with the palm of your hand. For more biscuit-like shortcakes, gently pat dough out on to lightly floured surface until 3/4" thick. Using a 3" biscuit cutter, cut out rounds of dough. Lightly brush the remaining cream over the mounts of dough.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until shortcakes are golden and cooked throughout. Allow to cool on a cooling rack.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Toss together the strawberries, sugar, and salt on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until juices are released and strawberries are fragrant. Set aside to cool.
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until most clumps are smoothed out, about one minute. Add the honey and sugar and beat to combine, about one minute.
- Add about 1/4 of the cream and beat just slightly until the cream cheese mixture is thinned out, about 30 seconds. Add the remaining cream and beat until cream is whipped to stiff peaks. Avoid over-beating.
- Set aside about 1/2 of the strawberries, leaving the juices behind with the other half. Using a potato masher, mash the half of strawberries with the juices remaining until all large bits of strawberry is smooshed. Fold in the other half of intact strawberries.
- Slice each shortcake in half, removing the tops. Spoon a generous dollop of whipped cream on top of the bottom.
- Spoon a generous helping of strawberries over the cream, saving enough liquid and intact strawberries for the rest of the shortcakes.
- Replace the top of the shortcake and enjoy immediately!