I read on someone’s blog recently about strawberry shortcake, and they made their’s with, ummm, cake. Spongey cake. According to Jim Villas in his amazing, classic cookbook My Mother’s Southern Desserts, the “one and only” strawberry shortcake is made with what is essentially a biscuit. I whipped this up in about 20 minutes flat on Memorial Day, and the result was transcendent. I know, that’s a fussy word, but it was. Served with sugared berries and just lightly sweetened and freshly whipped cream, while the biscuits were still hot from the oven, this dessert was so good, it actually brought a tear to my eye.
See what I mean about the “cake”? The dough is made from flour, baking powder, salt, butter, an egg and half-and-half. You add just 3 tablespoons of sugar, so it’s barely sweet. Then you press it out like biscuit dough.
Use round biscuit or cookie cutters (or a drinking glass like me) to cut the dough out into circles. The less you handle this dough, the better.
The biscuits bake up fast and fluffy. If you’ve never tried strawberry shortcake the real way before, you’re in for a treat. The book is unfortunately a little tough to come by, so if you can find one, buy it. I’ve lost count of how many recipes I’ve made from this classic. It never disappoints.