Strawberry Shortcake

Makes 6 shortcakes

Now is the time for sweet summer strawberries! The past few weeks I have been making a beeline to the Open Farmers Market to purchase organic strawberries!

I hope you take the time to make the shortcakes, believe me, once you’ve tasted these delicate tender cakes you will never go back to store-bought. When strawberries are in season, this is my favorite dessert to make.

Here are a few suggestions for tender shortcakes. First, make sure the butter is cold. Cube the butter into small cubes and place in the refrigerator to stay cold. Just before adding the butter into the dry ingredients, place it in the freezer for 8 minutes).

Second, use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the dry ingredients.

Third, after adding the wet ingredients into the dry, mix just until the dough has come together (you will have a tough cake if you handle the dough too much).

Finally, when you use the cookie cutter, do not twist it into the dough, twisting seals the edges, and the cake will have trouble rising; you want your shortcakes to be high, fluffy, and flaky.

 Make the Strawberry coulis first!

INGREDIENTS

2 quarts fresh strawberries, hulled, washed, and sliced

1 cup fresh orange juice

1 teaspoon organic pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons Stevia

1 tablespoon cornstarch

¼ cup of water

INSTRUCTIONS

In a saucepan combine the sliced strawberries, orange juice, vanilla extract, and Stevia. Bring to a boil, turn down to a gentle boil for 5 minutes. Strain through a wire mesh into a saucepan to remove seeds. (NOT A TIGHTLY WOVEN MESH)

Mix the cornstarch and water together until smooth. Bring the strained strawberries to a boil. Add the cornstarch mixture into the saucepan and stir until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Pour into an airtight container and place in the refrigerator to chill. (The coulis should be served cold and can be made 3 days ahead).

SHORTCAKES

INGREDIENTS 

1 ¾ cups organic “Bob’s Red Mill”, all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons STEVIA

½ stick (4 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cubed (keep in the refrigerator until ready to use)

½ cup heavy cream

¹/3 cup plain yogurt

2 quarts fresh strawberries, hulled, washed, and sliced

Zest from 1 fresh lemon or orange

10 to 12 fresh mint leaves

2 cups COCO WHIPPED TOPPING

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

LINE UP INGREDIENTS BEFORE YOU START

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and stevia. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a pastry blender, and keep cutting until the butter is the size of small peas.

Whisk the cream and yogurt together. Add it to the flour mixture and mix with a fork until the dough comes together. Do not over mix or the dough will be tough. Pat the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a 1-inch-thick rectangle. Using a 2 ½- or 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut (do not twist) as many shortcakes as you can from the rectangle. Place the shortcakes on the baking sheet. Gently press the scraps together and cut out more shortcakes. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on a baking rack for 15 to 20 minutes.

When ready to serve, slice the shortcakes in half horizontally. On the bottom half, pile on as many fresh sliced strawberries as you like. Pour 4 to 5 tablespoons of strawberry coulis over the top of the strawberries, sprinkle over ½ teaspoon lemon or orange zest, add a dollop of whip cream, and some fresh mint, top with the other half of the shortcake.