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Summer Days

August 18, 2011

I don’t know about you but if you are anything like me you are soooo ready for summer to be over! Its so freakin hot here I don’t even want to go outside when the sun is up, and even when it goes down its still well above 90 degrees! Since I want summer over in a hurry I decided to indulge in all things summer this week, swimming, reading, taking naps, and eating all sorts of summer foods. Yesterday I made Strawberry Shortcake, classic summer fare and super easy as well! Here is how I did it.

Summer Strawberry Shortcake

(adapted from Katie Lee: The Comfort Table)

1 quart strawberries

1/4 cup sugar

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

2 tablespoons sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

1 stick butter, softened and cut into small cubes

3/4 cup 1% milk

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon almond extract

1) Combine strawberries and 1/4 cup sugar, toss well, refrigerate.

2) Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, mix well. Slowly cut in the butter, mixing well to make a fine meal. Make a well in the center and slowly add in the milk and buttermilk, it will have a thick biscuit like consistency. Spoon into a 8 inch cake pan that has been sprayed with oil or greased to prevent sticking. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

3) Combine the heavy whipping cream and almond extract in a large bowel and beat at high speed until stiff peaks form.

4) After the cake has cooled enough to be handled cut it in half horizontally, making to thin upper and lower layers. Top the bottom layer with the strawberry mixture and about 2 large spoonfuls of whipped cream, spread the whipped cream over the strawberries. Then put the top layer of the cake on top of that and cover the top with the remaining whipped cream!

A couple of notes:

– Katie’s recipe calls to add 1 full cups of sugar to the strawberries! The ones I bought were organic and they tend to be much sweeter so I only added 1/4 cup of sugar and that was plenty sweet!

– I put 1 teaspoon of salt in as her recipe called for but think it will be better with 1 1/2, I like my shortcake to have a bit more of a savory flavor to compliment the sweet of the berries and cream.

– Make sure to bake it until the top is a nice golden brown, that way it will be crumbly and delicious!

– I made mine with all organic ingredients, (except the salt and baking powder) it just tastes better that way, especially organic dairy products! Whole Foods carries a great organic whole wheat pastry flour that is great to bake with. Don’t use regular whole wheat flour, it is way to dense and your bakery items will turn out like bricks!

– Almond extract is amazing, I added it to the whipped cream for just a little extra punch of flavor!

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