Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Father's Day Celebration Strawberry Shortcakes

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Is there any dessert more wonderful than the classic Strawberry Shortcake?

I know what you are thinking ..... what about 'healthy food'?

Let me explain:
Today is Father's Day; a day to celebrate our Dad's.

Side Story: A group of researchers, when studying attitudes towards food, asked a group of Americans what was the first word that came to their mind when they thought of chocolate cake.  They most often replied: guilt
When a group of french people were asked the same question, they replied: celebration!
Let's think about what we would respond to the word chocolate about YUM!

So my point is this: This dessert IS  real food, we make it from scratch with lots of love and attention...and dirty dishes!

I make strawberry shortcake at least 3 or 4 times a year when the local strawberries come out in all of their sweet, red glory. Mike is not a 'cake man', so I make it for Father's Day and his birthday in July.

The strawberries are from a roadside stand operated by a little old lady called Myrtle.
Myrtle gets up before dawn, PICKS the strawberries in the rich soils of Annapolis valley, then DRIVES 45 minutes to our area to sell them all day!

I have attempted to make healthier sorts of strawberry shortcake - whole grain biscuits instead of white, yogurt in place of whipped cream - but alas, the traditional buttery white flour biscuit and the whipped mountain of cream win out in the flavour, texture and taste department every time.

Father's Day Celebration Strawberry Shortcake:

The Biscuit:
Oven: 425

1 3/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
5 tbsp cold unsalted butter
3/4 cup buttermilk

Whisk the flour, salt, sugar, baking soda and baking powder together.
If desired, you could add a little lemon zest to the flour mixture.

TIP: grate the cold butter into the flour mixture instead of cutting it up into little pieces. Then work it into a mealy consistency with your fingers.

Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and stir in the buttermilk. Stir gently, and only until the dough is moistened.

Flatten out gently with your hands and cut into shapes.

Put the biscuits onto a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes.

The Strawberries:
Clean, hull and slice strawberries into a bowl. Add a couple of tbsp of sugar and let them 'macerate' - I know that sounds sexy, but it just means let them sit and get juicy in the sugar! Gosh, that sounds sexy too...or is it just me?? Luckily Mike comes home from a business trip tonight!

The Whipped Cream:
Whip the whipping cream until soft folds occur. Add a tablespoon of confectioners sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Do not over beat.

TIP: Have the bowl and whipping cream very cold before whipping.

The Assembly:
With great abandon, fill the biscuits with the strawberries and whipped cream and top with a good dollop of more whipped cream! it  with great abandon!!!



God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so,

He called it ... Dad

~~Author Unknown

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