Monday, March 9, 2009

Fox Valley's Homemade Strawberry Shortcake

In Helena, there is a fancy restaurant that resides in an old service station of all places. It is a place where one does not take their children. It is the place of many celebrations and occasions. It is also noted as being a favorite of the 2006 American Idol winner, Taylor Hicks (who happens to have played basketball with my brother in community league just a few short years ago). Below is a recipe for their famous Strawberry Shortcake, which happens to be just one of my favorite desserts on my short list of favorite desserts. That says alot.


SHORTCAKE: 2¾ cups flour; 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar; 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder; 1 teaspoon salt; 1 stick (4 oz.) cold unsalted butter; 1 cup heavy cream
STRAWBERRY FILLING: 1 quart ripe strawberries; ½ cup granulated sugar; 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
WHIPPED CREAM: 1½ cups heavy cream whipped with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar; ¼ teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into bowl of an electric mixer. Cut butter into pieces and toss with flour mixture. Using paddle attachment, mix on low speed for 3 to 4 minutes or until mixture resembles fine meal. Pour in cream and mix until the mixture just comes together. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently 4 to 5 times to form a smooth ball. Roll dough out to a 1-inch thickness. Cut out rounds of dough with a 2½-inch biscuit cutter, gather up scraps and roll out again to cut the rest of the rounds, repeat once more if necessary to get 8 rounds. Place on un-greased, double-thick cookie sheet and chill until ready to bake, up to 4 hours. Core and slice strawberries into wedges, toss with sugar and balsamic vinegar. Chill for 20 minutes. Brush tops of shortcakes with cream; sprinkle with a little granulated sugar; bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. While still warm, split shortcakes, spoon strawberries and accumulated juices on bottom half, add a large dollop of whipped cream, top with top of shortcake and spoon any remaining strawberries and juice around the side.
Be happy. You can't help but have a smile while eating this dish.

1 comment:

Mari said...

Yum! Strawberry shortcake is one of my favorites. I also voted for Taylor Hicks when he was on AI.