By: Deanna Linder
I definitely consider myself a cook much more than a baker. Give me a very detailed, multi-step recipe for savory food and I will take it on with fervor. On the other hand, when I come across a “difficult” baking recipe, I run for the hills. The part I love so much about cooking is the process; tasting, seeing what’s missing, and seeing how a recipe developed along the way. With baking, I’m just too curious of a person to wait and see how it will come out. I’m so curious that my husband says that if I were a rapper, my name would be Nosey-D. (Apparently he thinks my curiosity is outright nosiness).
Every time I throw a lunch/dinner party, my menus are always planned ahead and generous. I go way over my head with the savory items, always making a variety of first courses and seconds. When it comes to the dessert, I usually plan for some great 12-step cake, but when I’m down to the wire, somehow I never end up having time for baking a baker’s cake (but am always left with the ingredients that I bought for it).
One dinner party ago, I was in the aforementioned pickle when the idea of shortcakes came to mind. All of the ingredients (major basics), I nearly always have on hand in my kitchen. With a basket of fresh strawberries, meant originally for the baker’s cake, in my fridge, this dessert was literally ready from start to finish within a half hour.
With strawberry season coming to end here in Israel, you can replace them with any fresh seasonal fruit such as forest berries, nectarines, apricots, etc.
When making the shortcake dough it is best not to overwork the dough. The less you handle the dough, the tenderer your shortcakes will be.
Ingredients for about 15 shortcakes:
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons sugar
1½ sticks (6 oz./170 grams) butter, cold and cut into small cubes
2 cups heavy cream, cold
For the filling:
Lightly sweetened whipped cream
2 cups strawberries, sliced