Strawberry Shortcake Supreme
Local strawberry season is in full swing, cause for celebration!
Let's make some strawberry shortcakes, some super deluxe shortcakes with homemade lemon scones, a dollop of strawberry curd, fresh local berries and whipped cream.
The strawberry curd is a variation of my never-fail lemon curd recipe, simply substitute strawberry purée for about half of the lemon juice in the original recipe. The stuff is positively addictive, strawberry curd adds a whole new dimension to traditional strawberry shortcakes.
- 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, cleaned, hulled and sliced
- 6 tablespoons soft butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs + 2 egg yolks
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Purée the strawberries in your food processor until smooth. Cream together butter and sugar in stand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time while mixing on low speed, then add yolks. Continue to beat on low for another minute or two. mixture should be smooth and creamy light yellow. Next, add the strawberry purée and lemon juice and continue to beat on low speed until incorporated. The mixture will appear lumpy, as though it's curdled. Don't worry, this is only temporary, the curd will smooth out when heated. Transfer the strawberry curd to a medium sized saucepan and place over low heat. Stir the mixture for a minute or two, until it is heated through, and no longer has a curdled appearance. Increase the heat to medium and stir constantly for the next 12 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool with cling wrap pressed directly onto the surface of the curd. This will prevent it forming a skin on top. Once cool decant to storage container of your choice. This keeps about a week in the fridge, it also freezes well.
To achieve the most tender flaky scones, try this frozen butter technique. Instead of using a pastry blender to cut the butter into the dry ingredients, you simply grate frozen butter and toss it into the dry ingredients. Works like a charm!
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 /2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup frozen unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup cold milk
- zest of one lemon, finely grated
- egg wash- 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon of water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
Preheat oven to 400F.
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a big bowl until everything has been evenly distributed. Grate the butter over a sheet of parchment using a box grater. Add the butter to the dry ingredients and toss together with your fingertips to blend.
Add the milk and lemon zest, and stir until the mixture just barely hold together. Use the handle of your wooden spoon, or a chopstick to stir, in order to avoid overworking the the dough.
Turn out the dough out onto a well floured surface and very delicately knead it couple of times, using the lightest touch. Your goal is just bring the dough together into a rough ball. Pat the ball of dough into a circle about 3/4 inch thick. Using a small round cookie cutter, or drinking glass. cut the dough into scones.
Transfer the scones to a parchment lined baking sheet and brush the tops with the egg wash. Be careful not to let the egg drip down the sides of the scones, drips will prevent the scones from rising properly. The egg wash will promote browning and add a bit of shine to the tops of the scones. Just before you put the scones in the oven, sprinkle the tops with sugar.
Bake for 15 minutes, until the scones are lightly browned on top.
Now that you have your strawberry curd and lemon scones, you are almost ready to assemble the shortcakes.
Clean, hull and slice 2 cups fresh local strawberries and sprinkle the fruit with 1-2 tablespoons of sugar, and let sit for 15-20 minutes to macerate. The berries will release their juices and soften up a bit.
Whip 1 cup heavy cream with 1 tablespoon of icing sugar until the mixture forms soft peaks. For best results, make sure that your cream, bowl, and beaters are ice cold. I usually throw everything in the freezer for about 15 minutes before I start to whip.
Just before serving, slice the scones in half, layer a dollop of strawberry curd, macerated berries, and whipped cream on the bottom half of the scones. Add the top half of the scone and layer more whipped cream and berries. I've garnished mine with tiny Johnny Jump Up blossoms, because I can't resist edible flowers, and these little guys are volunteering in all of my garden beds this summer.