Baker and cookbook author Dorie Greenspan is taking the summertime staple strawberry shortcake and giving it a makeover.Greenspan, who has worked with the likes of Julia Child, is releasing her 11th cookbook. Their pairing seems as natural as strawberries and shortcake.
“There’s a reason that National Strawberry Shortcake Day is June 14. They welcome summer,” Greenspan said.
Greenspan is giving a new twist to the traditional strawberry shortcake recipe and tips on how to give a classic an added punch of flavor.
“It’s hard to do something new with something that’s made every summer,” Greenspan said.
Greenspan starts with a buttermilk biscuit foundation and adds lemon zest and rose extract to enhance the flavors of the shortcake and the strawberries.
A proponent of getting down and dirty with her baking, Greenspan uses her fingers to mash the zest into the sugar and uses her hands to smush together ingredients for the biscuits.
“The key to great biscuits is rubbing the flour and butter together with your fingertips until the ingredients are bumpy, lumpy and pebbly,” she said.
For newbie bakers, Greenspan’s biggest piece of advice is what seems the easiest.
“It sounds obvious, but always read the recipe first,” Greenspan said. “There’s nothing worse than looking forward to making something and reading through and realizing you don’t have the ingredients.”
Greenspan also advised to use your senses when baking. “You can almost smell ‘golden brown,’ ” she said.
Double Strawberry and Rose Shortcakes
Makes 24 shortcakes
3 unsprayed roses
1 to 2 egg whites
Granulated sugar or store-bought candied rose petals
3/4 pound (about 3 cups) strawberries, hulled
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon pure rose extract
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar (plus more for sprinkling)
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons ( 3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
3/4 cup cold buttermilk
1 cup cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon pure rose extract
1 tablespoon cold sour cream, optional
Red or pink food coloring
1/2 to 3/4 pound (about 2 to 3 cups) strawberries, hulled
1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Put the sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl and, working with your fingertips, rub the ingredients together until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the rest of the dry ingredients to the bowl and whisk to combine. Drop in the pieces of cold butter and, again using your fingertips, crush, rub and blend the butter in. Pour the cold buttermilk over the mixture, switch to a fork and toss and stir everything together until the milk is absorbed Don’t stir too much, too vigorously or for too long.Knead the dough gently, folding it over on itself and turning it over six to eight times.
3. Dust a work surface lightly with flour, turn out the dough and, still using your hands, pat the dough out until it is 1/2 inch thick. Using a high-sided 2-inch cutter, cut out biscuits and place them on the baking sheet. Pat the scraps together until they’re 1/2 inch thick and cut out as many more biscuits as you can.
4. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the biscuits have risen and their tops and bottoms are golden brown. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and allow the biscuits to cool.
1. If you’d like to pipe the whipped cream, either spoon the cream into a pastry bag fitted with an open star or plain tip, or spoon the cream into a zipper-lock plastic bag and snip off a corner. Alternatively, you can simply spoon on the cream.
2. Slice a thin layer off the top of the biscuit to create an even surface for piping the cream. Discard the tops. Put a teaspoonful of strawberry compote and syrup in the center of each biscuit. Pipe (or spoon) a circle of whipped cream around the compote, leaving a bit of compote uncovered. Finish each shortcake by pressing two or three slices of strawberry together, fanning them out a little and placing them, broad side down, in the center of each cake.