By America’S Test Kitchen The Associated Press
The heart of any great strawberry shortcake is the topping of lightly sugared, juicy, ruby-red strawberries.
Our Strawberry Topping was perfect here; it had clean, pronounced berry flavour and a thick, chunky texture that didn’t slip off our tender biscuits. For fluffy, not dense, biscuits, we called on our food processor for streamlined, foolproof mixing.
While eggs are not traditional in biscuits, we added a single egg to give our biscuits a lighter, more tender texture. A bit of half-and-half contributed richness, while a modest amount of sugar yielded slightly sweet, dessert-friendly biscuits. A cloud of whipped cream, nestled between the berries and the biscuit, provided the classic finishing touch.
For the best results, chill the mixer bowl and the whisk in the freezer for 20 minutes before whipping the cream. You will need a 2 3/4-inch biscuit cutter for this recipe.
Start to finish: 1 1/2 hours
Shortcakes:2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons (2 1/4 ounces) sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
2/3 cup half-and-half
1 large egg plus 1 large white
Whipped Cream:1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Strawberry Topping:Makes about 4 1/2 cups
2 1/2 pounds strawberries, hulled (8 cups)
6 tablespoons sugar
For the shortcakes: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 425 F. Pulse flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt in food processor until combined, about 5 pulses. Scatter butter pieces over top and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about 15 pulses; transfer to large bowl.
In separate bowl, whisk half-and-half and whole egg together. Add half-and-half mixture to flour mixture and stir with rubber spatula until large clumps form. Turn mixture onto lightly floured counter and knead lightly until dough comes together.
Using your fingertips, pat dough into 9 by 6-inch rectangle about 1 inch thick. Cut out 6 biscuits using floured 2 3/4-inch biscuit cutter. Pat remaining dough into 1-inch-thick pieces and cut out 2 more biscuits. Place biscuits on parchment paper-lined baking sheet, spaced 1 inch apart. (Raw biscuits can be refrigerated for up to 2 hours before baking.)
Brush top of biscuits with lightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake biscuits until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let biscuits cool on sheet for at least 10 minutes. (Baked biscuits can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 day.)
For strawberry topping: Crush 3 cups strawberries with potato masher in bowl. Slice remaining strawberries and, along with sugar, stir into crushed strawberries. Let sit at room temperature until sugar has dissolved and strawberries are juicy, at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Serve immediately.
For the whipped cream: Using stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip all ingredients on medium-low speed until foamy, about 1 minute. Increase speed to high and whip until soft peaks form, 1 to 3 minutes.
Split each biscuit in half and place bottoms on individual serving plates. Spoon portion of topping over each bottom, then top with dollop of whipped cream. Cap with biscuit tops and serve immediately.