Strawberry shortcake. Simple. Elegant. Fresh. It means the days last a bit longer, feel a bit warmer and summertime in New England is underway. I wish I could capture this summer feeling and bottle it for those bleak days that lie ahead. I suppose that’s why we can and freeze as much as we can. It’s a great way to capture summer in a jar.
So, the strawberry picking has begun – kids sitting in the fieldgobbling up the goodness while grown-ups scramble to fill their baskets with the biggest and most succulent berries. There’s an elegance about strawberry picking. It hearkens us back to a slower and more refined time.
Speaking of refinement, we started watching Jackie: Behind the Myth this week. We’ve watched half of the film and so far it’s been heart-wrenching. PBS did an amazing job putting this piece together and I definitely recommend it if your local library has it on the shelf.
To me, there’s something about Jackie that I find compelling. She conducted herself with dignity and grace. Her sense of style was second to none. And she was extremely intelligent. I did not know that she was multi-lingual, wrote poetry, and performed a complete historical restoration of the White House when she found it in shambles upon their arrival. As a patron of the arts she set in motion a plan to establish a Department of Culture for the United States. I suspect she would have been successful has tragedy not intervened. What’s your take on the importance of art and culture in society?
Interestingly, while Jackie was in the White House she set up a dinner with the worlds Nobel Prize winners. It got me to wondering about who I would invite to dinner if given the opportunity.
Here’s my question you: If you could invite any 10 famous people to dinner and dessert who would it be? For fun, let’s say 5 must be alive and 5 can be historic figures. (No family or co-workers, they’re a given). I’m seriously curious to hear who you’d invite.
While you ponder the question, here’s the recipe for this wonderful dessert:
Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake
625 g. bread flour
36 g. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
115 g. cold unsalted butter
3 1/4 cups (780 ml) heavy cream
30 g. granulated sugar
1 lb. strawberries, washed, hulled, chopped and mixed with 1/4 c. powdered sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar (more or less to taste)
1. Sift together the first 3 dry ingredients. Cut the butter into the flour until it resembles the size of peas. Pour the cream in all at once and mix with your hands until you get a soft dough. Do not overmix.
2. Roll out dough into a 1.5 inch (width rectangle). With the long side of the dough facing you, fold the left side of the dough into the middle. Fold the right side of the dough on top of the now folded left side. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Remove dough from the refrigerator and repeat step 2.
4. Roll out the dough into a rectangle, about 7X16 inches. Cut out dough with round biscuit cutter.
5. Place biscuits on cookie sheet. Brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes or until cooked through.
6. Whip the cream with the powdered sugar.
7. Top biscuit with fresh strawberries. You may want to slice the biscuit in half and fill it with berries. Top with berries and whipped cream.
Enjoy the strawberry shortcake!