Strawberry short cakes rule in Spring. There is no other dessert that match the beauty and fresh taste as short cakes. Fresh berries meld in your mouth with dreamy whipped cream and buttery... short... cake....sorry, did I put you in a trance?
After processing the flour mixture with butter, freeze coarse crumbles for a few hours. When the butter is chilled, add the half and half to form a dough ball. After cutting the dough into round discs, cover well and you can freeze these up to 3 weeks.
Brush with egg white and sprinkle with raw sugar, which is much coarser than granulated sugar. The end result is beautiful, sparkly top.
3 pints fresh strawberries , hulled;
1 pint crushed with potato masher or fork,
2 pints quartered
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 cups bleached all purpose flour, plus more for work surface and biscuit cutter
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon baking power
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 stick unsalted butter (8 tablespoons or 4 oz), chilled
1 egg , beaten
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 egg white , lightly beaten
2 tablespoon of raw sugar
1 cup heavy cream , chilled (preferably pasteurized or pasteurized organic)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Mix flour, salt, baking powder, and 6 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl. Pulse the dry ingredients to combine them, then add cold butter that has been cut into half-inch pieces and continue to pulse until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal flecked with pea-sized bits of butter. Freeze for an hour.
2. Mix crushed and quartered berries with sugar in medium bowl; set aside while preparing biscuits (or up to 2 hours).
3. Adjust oven rack to lower middle position; heat oven to 425 degrees.
4. Take out the flour/butter mixture out of freezer. Pour the mixture into a bowl; stir in the egg and half-and-half with a rubber spatula until the mixture comes together.
5. Pat dough into 9- by 6-inch rectangle, 3/4 inch thick. Flour 2 3/4-inch biscuit cutter (you can use smaller cutter as we did in photo), cut 6 dough rounds. Place 1 inch apart on small baking sheet; brush dough tops with egg white and sprinkle with remaining sugar. (Can be covered and refrigerated up to 2 hours before baking.) Bake until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes. Place baking sheet on wire rack; cool cakes until warm, about 10 minutes.
6. Chill nonreactive, deep, 1- to 1 1/2-quart bowl and beaters for a handheld mixer in freezer for at least 20 minutes. Add cream, sugar, and vanilla to chilled bowl; beat on low speed until small bubbles form, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium; continue beating until beaters leave a trail, about 30 seconds more. Increase speed to high; continue beating until cream is smooth, thick, and nearly doubled in volume, about 20 seconds for soft peaks or about 30 seconds for stiff peaks. If necessary, finish beating by hand to adjust consistency.
7. Split each cake crosswise; spoon a portion of berries and then a dollop of whipped cream over each cake bottom. Cap with cake top; serve immediately.
Note: If you are baking frozen shortcake discs, bake at 375 degrees F. and increase baking time to 8 to 10 minutes.