We picked our first strawberry last week and have been enjoying strawberry shortcake for dinner ever since. Strawberry shortcake at Chiot’s Run is a little different than most. The first time I made it for Mr Chiots he said, “What is this?” No little round spongy cakes or loads of sugar here.
When you grow you own strawberries they’re so much better than what you get at the store, you don’t want to overpower them with too much sugar. I make homemade shortcake with real butter, whole grain flour, crystallized ginger and just a small amount of sugar. This lets the sweetness and flavor of homegrown sun ripened strawberries be the star of the meal. The shortcakes are cooked until crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. When cooled we crumble them in a bowl, top with strawberries macerated with maple syrup and a dash of vanilla. Then we top it all off with some raw milk.
1 1/2 quarts of strawberries
2 Tablespoons of maple syrup
a dash of vanilla and salt
Slice strawberries and mix with maple syrup, and a dash of vanilla and salt. Put in fridge to macerate.
2 cups of flour
(I use 10 oz of freshly ground soft white wheat flour)
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon of baking powder
(I use 2 t of cream of tartar and 1 t aluminum free baking soda)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup diced crystallized ginger*
1/2 – 3/4 cup of heavy cream or buttermilk
1 Tablespoon of sugar
*If you don’t like ginger, you can add lemon zest and some lemon juice, or perhaps cinnamon and vanilla.
Preheat oven to 425, butter a baking sheet or line with parchment paper (you can also use a cast iron skillet if you’d like).
Sift flour into a large bowl and mix in baking powder and salt (if you want sweeter shortcake add 1-2 Tablespoons of sugar). Cut butter into pieces and work into the flour mixture with pastry blender, knives or fingers until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Stir crystallized ginger into flour mixture.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add in half a cup of cream or buttermilk. Stir lightly, if mixture is too dry, add the rest of the buttermilk or cream. You want the mixture to be like biscuit or scone dough, not too wet and not too dry. Spread or drop onto cookie sheet and sprinkle lightly with sugar. I make mine in one big piece but you could easily make individual ones if you’d like. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown on top. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.
When shortcakes are cool, crumble into a bowl, top with macerated strawberries, pour cold milk on top. Enjoy. (makes about 6 servings unless you’re really hungry)
When made this way, it’s the perfect light dinner on a hot summer day. With all that whole grain, fresh fruit, pastured butter and raw milk I don’t feel a bit guilty about eating it every night for dinner during short strawberry season!
What kind of strawberry shortcake do you enjoy in your household?