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.
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.