3 years of LadyConcierge! I have to give mad props to everyone at http://www.portlandfood.org/ for their support and Michelle at Je Mange la Ville for being my inspiration.
And now, strawberry shortcake! Seems like it's a popular topic right now. We're right in the middle of California strawberry season and waiting eagerly for the Oregon berries to arrive. Our strawberry plants are taking over the side yard, and boy are we glad!
This recipe comes from the guys at The Bitten Word, who try out the best recipes from the food magazines each month. This one comes from Everyday Food, May 2009 issue. The original recipe was for rhubarb instead of strawberries.
What I like about this recipe is the shortcake is the biscuit-scone type and not the foamy cake type. Brian disagrees, but will suffer through it somehow. He tried to get me to buy some angel food cake at the grocery store yesterday, but I would have none of it. I love the flaky texture of these shortcakes. I halved the recipe since it was just us two, and I sprinkled turbinado sugar over the tops.
Macerating strawberries in balsamic is one of my favorite preparations for the sweet little gems. Alas, our balsamic was gone! So I used a splash of cherry brandy instead. Not the same flavor, but a nummy one just the same. Next time I will make sure to have balsamic on hand.
Balsamic Brown Sugar Strawberries
The Bitten Word
1 pint strawberries
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon dark or light brown sugar, depending on your preference
Cap and quarter strawberries and place in a large bowl. Mix with balsamic and sugar. Cover and refrigerate, two hours to overnight. If the strawberries are not sweet enough for your tastes, add more brown sugar.
Everyday Food (May 2009)
Prep: 25 minutes
Total: 55 minutes, plus cooling
* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for work surface
* 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
* 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
* 1 cup whole milk
* 1 cup heavy cream
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a food processor, combine flour, butter, baking powder, salt, and 1/3 cup sugar and process until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk and pulse just until moistened, 4 to 5 times.
2. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. With floured hands, gently pat into a 4-by-8-inch rectangle. Cut dough into 8 squares and transfer to a baking sheet; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Let biscuits cool on baking sheet.
3. In a large bowl, beat cream until soft peaks form. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and beat until soft peaks return. To serve, split biscuits with a serrated knife; sandwich with rhubarb compote (or strawberries!) and whipped cream.