Monday, April 22, 2013

Gour-Maybe Classic: Strawberry Thyme Shortcake with Honey Whipped Cream

Because I've been a bit of a posting slacker - wedding planning has been on my brain - I am reposting one of my favorite spring treat post from this time last year. Sorry:) New recipes coming this week I promise. If you don't like Strawberry Shortcake... well... then use another fruit, because this little stack of deliciousness is worth it in every way. This is a delicious adaptation of the classic, and it starts with a biscuit recipe from Blackberrry Farm (this month, named the #1 Food Hotel according to Bon Appetit Magazine).  First, let me say, I am not an Atkins kind of girl, when people say that carbs are addicting, and you should avoid them, these are the biscuits that prove them right. But you can't avoid them, because they're addicting - gotcha! If you make them and then sneak off to a closet with the baking sheet, I would not be surprised. As you readers know, I like a balance of flavors. Salty and sweet; savory and sweet; herbal and sweet. Ok - maybe I just like sweets of all kinds. One of my favorite flavor combos is strawberry and thyme. Thyme is a great herbal counterpoint to the sweet strawberries. Because it's a berry recipe, what better biscuits to make than The Blackberry Farm Cookbook's (please tell me you went out and bought it after the first post) biscuits with a twist. I add chopped thyme and topped half of the biscuits with sugar so they have a little additional sweetness for the shortcake. Full instructions after the jump.

  • 1 3/4 C  All-purpose flour* (not self-rising)
  • 3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening
  • 1 C buttermilk
  • 1/2 stick completely softened butter (spreadable) plus 2 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme leaves - fresh - if you do not have fresh then I'm sorry, you are prohibited from using dried
  • 2 C strawberries chopped (I prefer chopped over sliced)
  • 1 half lemon
  • 1 T light brown sugar
  • 2 T honey, more to taste. 
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream 
  • granulated sugar 
Chop the strawberries, discard stems. Place in a bowl with brown sugar and squeeze the 1/2 lemon over. Stir, and put in the refrigerator.  Make biscuits. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a baking sheet. Sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt into a bowl, then blend in shortening with  your fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal. See below picture if you need reference.

Add  buttermilk and stir just until it comes together to be a dough (see below picture).

Flour your work station - really flour - I'm serious, this is a wet dough. Flour your hands. Pat out dough on floured surface into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.

dough folding with butter
Visualize that the dough has thirds horizontally. Spread the middle third of dough evenly with  softened butter. Fold dough bottom and top thirds over on each other, like a letter (unbuttered bottom third up, then top third down over dough). Pat dough down again GENTLY into a 1/4 inch thick rectangle. Repeat folding process. I now add the thyme, but you don't have to. Now, pat down just barely until dough is about 1 inch thick. I know, lots of measuring. Cut out biscuits using a 2 inch biscuit cutter. I honestly used a small Picardie tumbler glass, sturdy wine glasses will also work - just don't admit to it. because I don't own a biscuit cutter and it's Sunday and the stores are closed. Place biscuits on a baking sheet next just touching as you cut them out.
Gather scraps and pat out once more, then cut out final rounds and transfer to baking sheet. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake on middle rack about 15 minutes. I then transferred to upper rack to brown for 2 more minutes. It worked perfectly. Lightly brush the biscuits with melted butter. Whip the heavy cream on high speed with a hand mixer or stand mixer until it is thick and stands on its own. Add 2T honey (to desired sweetness) Whip briefly to combine. Slice biscuit crosswise. Spoon strawberry mixture on bottom half, add whipped cream, cover with top biscuit half. I'd sprinkle some thyme and drizzle some honey over the whole thing - presentation people!

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