Strawberry Shortcake

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Strawberry season is so short-lived; it calls for something celebratory. Weeks ago, I started thinking about what I wanted to make with this year's crop. From the few plants I have in my plot, I get a good seven or eight handfuls of berries at most (not counting the ones I eat on the spot).

There's not enough for a pie, nor a jarful of jam, so I pondered other possibilities. Cheesecake with strawberry topping? Strawberry parfaits? Strawberry ice cream? A small strawberry tart for two? Decisions, decisions.

So I asked my husband what he would like to have with this year's strawberries, and he immediately gave me a look that spoke two magical words before he even uttered them from his mouth.

Strawberry shortcake.

But of course. We celebrated last year's strawberry crop with shortcakes and cream, and that's how we would do it again. There is a reason why strawberry shortcake is a classic dessert. Why mess with perfection?

I use Williams-Sonoma's recipe for the shortcakes. Their recipe calls for a teaspoon of grated lemon peel, which is utterly complementary to the strawberries. And there's a little bit of salt in the shortcakes too. Don't skip the salt. I used to think it was odd to include salt in recipes for sweets, but I have since learned what I was missing. Keep the salt. Trust me.

Make real whipped cream... Pile everything together...

Enjoy strawberry shortcake bliss.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just mouth watering. The photographs are fabulous and I just want to pick the strawberries from the computer screen. I will definately now be getting more strawberry plants thanks to you - roll on next year.
Sara from farmingfriends

8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, now I am craving Strawberry Shortcake. Thanks!

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That looks great, I must try strawberries with shortcake, a new idea to me

9:47 AM  
Blogger Ed Bruske said...

Those look like great shortcakes, Christa.

People need to remember that the stuff masquerading as "shortcake" premade near the supermarket strawberries this time of year are anything but real shortcake.

The word "short" comes from the butter or fat (or "short"ening) in the dough. The cakes should be savory and just a bit crumbly. Traditionally, some people even made these on top of a griddle.

We use the recipe in Joy of Cooking. And you are right: Why mess with a classic, although plenty of people do.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christa, these photographs are great, and your strawberries look fabulous! I'm glad you enjoyed the berries...what a treat!

9:57 AM  
Blogger Tira said...

Strawberry shortcake- perfection indeed. What could be better than the taste of fresh picked strawberries and real whipped cream? The small and wonderful pleasures of life...

10:44 AM  
Blogger Gardenmomma Chris said...

What a delightful post!!! Okay, I'm going to have to try that recipe...I'll just have to buy the strawberries!! :)

12:48 PM  
Blogger kate said...

Maybe I can talk my dad into parting with some of his strawberries, though they won't be ripe for a while. I can start hinting now ... since garden strawberries can't be beaten. Besides tasting delicious, I love that they are different sizes... and a beautiful colour of red.

This looked delicious and I think you have a wonderful tradition going!!

12:57 PM  
Blogger Black Eyed Susan said...

You take the best photos!! I haven't visited in a while but, whenever I do I feel envy....and hunger.

2:37 PM  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

We just had strawberry shortcake [with the berries from the store, alas] but your luscious photos make me want More, More!

Christa, you'll be horrified to know that the real whipped cream must be replaced with fatfree frozen yogurt - but we can still enjoy the berries!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

5:24 PM  
Blogger Carol Michel said...

I hope to soon have enough berries for my own strawberry shortcake! Those look yummy!

6:05 PM  
Blogger Marc said...

All I can say is WOW! Those strawberries sure look good! We just planted strawberries this year, so we won't have beautiful berries like that for a while. But looking at your great pictures, I can hardly wait!

12:41 PM  
Blogger Muum said...

your pics make this look great! I'll have to try that recipe!

4:22 PM  
Blogger anna maria said...

The curent post at "Uncle Tom's Garden" just reminded me that I should get to my local famer's market this weekend, and you've given me a great idea for the strawberries I'll probably find there. Looks like it's going to be a delicious weekend.

12:32 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

Wow, you already started harvesting your strawberries! Wonderful photos - they look yummy yummy! Well, our strawberries will still need some more weeks!

Happy gardening!

Best wishes from Germany,

12:40 AM  
Blogger Christa said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone. If you give this recipe a try, let me know what you think of it.

Sara, I am glad I inspired you to get more strawberry plants. Strawberries picked right from the garden can't be beat!

Ed, I know what you mean about the pre-made "shortcakes" in the supermarket. I don't think I could ever eat those again, after having had the real thing. There's a whole stick of butter in these. I'd rather eat butter than something with a long list of things I can't pronounce.

Annie in Austin,
LOL. I'm not horrified. I mostly eat nonfat or lowfat dairy products myself. Fat-free frozen yogurt is a good thing! We splurged on the cream for this special occasion.

Everyone -- Have a great weekend in your gardens!

9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must say WOW along with everyone else. What truly delectable and inspiring photos! Apologies for being a "lurker" until now. I check your site regularly and always enjoy seeing what you're up to.

9:24 AM  
Blogger Silvia Hoefnagels . Salix Tree said...

yummmmm... oh that looks rich!
My strawberries are mostly still flowers at the moment. soon...

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have to agree with the comments about the gorgeous strawberries. And, of course, nothing beats real, freshly-whipped cream to top homemade biscuit-type cakes. But, for someone like me, who is paying the price of too much of the good things in the past, strawberries must be enjoyed without fats like butter, salt in the shortcake and real whipped cream. I'm here to tell you that fresh strawberries (sweetened with Splenda) on shortcakes made with healthy oil and no salt, and topped with non-fat yogurt, are a perfectly acceptable, occasional healthy treat. Can't wait for the Farmers' Market on Wednesday!

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've grown a pot of strawberries for a couple years but haven't been impressed with their flavor. I am finally giving up hope on the ones I currently have, and am planning to start fresh next year. Your's look delicious...could you tell me what variety they are? I'd like to give them a try
- A first time poster.

3:19 PM  
Blogger Christa said...

I received my strawberries from someone who left some extra plants (anonymously) by the community garden shed for any takers. I never had the chance to ask the giver what type they are. They are a June-bearing variety (as opposed to an ever-bearing), but that's all I know. There is an article here that recommends a few different types. Sorry I can't be more specific.

Good luck!

8:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


5:05 PM  

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