First strawberries. Shortcake, southern-style. Summer begins.

Southern-style strawberry shortcakeMonroe Organic Farm brought the first strawberries of the season. Sweet, yet delicately so, their perfect texture is a stark contrast from the year-round styrofoam balls that usually pass as strawberries. The first temptation is always to simply devour them all, but cooler heads prevailed. Our house is lucky enough to have a baker in residence (“The Baker”), and she whipped up a batch of old school southern-style buttermilk biscuits – the only true basis for strawberry “shortcake.” The biscuit recipe comes from my Georgia grandmother, and has been handed down in my family for at least¬†four generations.

Buttermilk Biscuits

  1. 2 1/2 cups flour
  2. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  3. 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 1/3 shortening (classically Crisco)
  6. 1 cup buttermilk

Sift together dry ingredients. These next steps take a light touch: Cut in shortening until there are “no pieces bigger than a pea.” Stir in buttermilk evenly. Turn on to a well-floured pastry cloth and knead ten times (I kid you not). Roll out to 1/2 – 3/4″ thickness, the use can or cutter to create 2 – 3″ rounds. Set oven to 450 degrees. Bake about 15 minutes on baking sheet until golden brown.¬† If you are a wizard these will rise almost impossibly, and mortals must settle for a mildly risen yet succulent biscuit.

The strawberries themselves are simply sliced and a tiny bit of sugar added, then left to “macerate” (as a food writer might say), releasing delectible juices.

Split still warm biscuits, spoon over strawberries, and top with fresh whipped cream. Perfection.

Sources

Monroe Farm

Tags: , , ,

2 Responses to “First strawberries. Shortcake, southern-style. Summer begins.”

  1. oryoki Says:

    Ray, I planted some strawberries in the common gardens at my condo. Maybe next year you can fix this dish for me from my strawberries.

  2. oryoki Says:

    I even took pictures and linked to your story on my gardening blog.

    http://boulderfallcolors.blogspot.com/2008/07/knee-high-by-fourth-of-july.html

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.