A Low Sugar Version of the Sweet Classic Dessert
The star of strawberry shortcake is the strawberries, which have the convenient distinction of being both healthy and beloved by children and adults alike. This recipe comes together quickly, and you barely need to add anything to showcase those ripe, sweet berries. Use fresh fruit during the peak of the season, or pick up frozen berries at the supermarket year round. You can also take the family berry picking, make a big batch of shortcake with your haul and freeze some of the extra fruit to enjoy with warm biscuits throughout the winter. Prepare the biscuit dough ahead of time as well, freeze it and defrost it when you're ready to make the fruit topping.
Total time: 40 minutes | Prep time: 15 minutes | Serves: 6
- 2 pints strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup unbleached white flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter, plus extra to grease the cookie sheet
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Heat the oven to 400F.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the strawberries gently with 1 tablespoon sugar, stirring often, until the berries just start to release their juice, about 2 to 3 minutes. Very ripe berries will be juicier, so they'll need less stovetop cooking time. If they're ripe and sweet enough, you can even leave out the sugar.
- Mix the flour with the baking powder, salt and remaining tablespoon of sugar. Add the butter, cutting it with a knife or pastry cutter. Mix to form a crumbly, slightly lumpy dough, and then add 1/4 cup cream and mix until reasonably smooth. This will be easiest if you use your hands.
- Roll the dough into balls the size of golf balls. Arrange the balls on a buttered cookie sheet, flatten them a bit with the back of a spoon or with your hand, and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix the remaining 1/2 cup cream with the vanilla extract, and beat with a hand mixer or whisk until the cream thickens and keeps its shape when you form peaks.
- Spoon berries and whipped cream over the biscuits when they come out of the oven, or cut the biscuits in half lengthwise and sandwich the berries and cream inside.
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Devra Gartenstein is a self-taught professional cook who has authored two cookbooks: "The Accidental Vegan", and "Local Bounty: Seasonal Vegan Recipes". She founded Patty Pan Cooperative, Seattle's oldest farmers market concession, and teaches regular cooking classes.