Makes nine 2.5″ or twenty-five 1.5″ shortcakes (IME it makes more than this)
For a deeper flavor, try substituting 1/3 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar for the 1/3 cup granulated sugar in the recipe. Either variation is best served slightly warm.
4 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and halved (I usually cut thinner pieces than halves, and use more than 4 pints. But we like strawberries a lot.)
1/4 C freshly-squeezed lemon juice (freshly squeezed from a plastic lemon works too. :))
1/2 C plus 1/3 C granulated sugar
4 C all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
4.5 t baking powder
1.5 t salt
12 T unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
2 C plus 4 T heavy cream
1 large egg yolk (for the glaze; one batch of glaze will cover at least 2 batches of biscuits)
2 T turbinado sugar, for sprinkling (we just use regular organic sugar)
1. Macerate strawberries: combine berries, lemon juice, and 1/2 C sugar, and let stand for at least 1 hour.
2. Whisk together remaining 1/3 C sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut butter into mixture until it resembles coarse meal. Add 2 C plus 2 T cream, and mix just until dough comes together. Transfer to a lightly-floured surface; pat into a 1″-thick square. Using a 2.5″ or 1.5″ round cookie cutter, cut rounds and put on a parchment-lined baking sheet. (We use a Silpat. It works well.) Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 400. Whisk together remaining 2 T cream with egg yolk and brush tops of rounds with egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar, if desired. Bake until golden brown, 12-15 minutes for small and 15-18 minutes for large. Cool slightly on wire racks, about 15 minutes.
4. Slice shortcakes open with a serrated knife; place bottom halves on serving plates. Add a dollop of whipped cream and the strawberries with their juice, and top off with matching shortcake halves. (We tend to do that for one or two, for beauty, and then the rest we just put the two halves on a plate, topping each with berries and then cream.)
Vanilla Whipped Cream
Makes about 3.5 cups
Look for organic heavy cream. It whips, holds its shape, and tastes better than regular heavy cream does.
2 C organic heavy cream
2 T pure vanilla extract or kirsch
2 T confectioner’s sugar
Chill a mixing bowl. Combine cream, vanilla, and sugar, and beat with a whisk until soft peaks form. Whip to stiff peaks just before serving.