whipped cream

Sauteed Strawberry Strawberry Shortcake

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My birthday is in a few days and usually we get together with the kids and grandkids to celebrate at my house. There’s always an apple pie for dessert at some point because I prefer homemade apple pie to birthday cake. And I always have apple pies in the freezer.

But this is an unusual year for our family: graduation and bat mitzvah celebrations, along with several birthdays, Father’s Day and so on — and so — no birthday get-together at my place.

(Actually, at some point during the week I will invite my sister-in-law Eileen and brother Jeff — and I’ll take out some pie for us to enjoy.)

In the meantime, for the two of us, I will celebrate with individual strawberry shortcakes. I made the biscuits already (they’re frozen). Whipped cream takes about 2 minutes in the mixer. I am hoping to find great strawberries — they are in season, so it should be easy.

Last week I actually couldn’t find wonderful berries, even at the Farmer’s market.

So I bought what they had and gave them a quick saute.

Which is what I will do again if the berries aren’t perfect.

This was quite delicious. Here’s the recipe, for strawberry shortcake when you can’t get the best berries.

Sauteed Strawberry Shortcake 

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 4 cups cut up fresh strawberries

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 2 tablespoons orange flavored brandy or rum

  • Shortcake biscuits

  • Sweetened whipped cream

  • Fresh mint for garnish

Heat the butter in a saute pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, add the berries, stir to coat them with butter and cook for one minute. Sprinkle with the sugar, toss and pour in the brandy. Stir, cook briefly and set aside. Cut the biscuits in half. Place the bottoms of each on dessert plates. Layer with some of the berries and some of the whipped cream (reserve some whipped cream for the top). Cover with the biscuit tops. Garnish with a blob of whipped cream and some mint leaves.

 Makes 8 servings

 

Biscuits 

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup cake flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel, optional

  • 8 tablespoons cold butter

  • 2/3 cup buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Mix the flour, cake flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda into a bowl. Stir in the lemon peel, if used. Cut the butter into chunks and add it to the bowl. Work the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs (or use a food processor on pulse). Pour in the buttermilk and mix until you can form a soft ball of dough. The dough will be slightly sticky. Place the dough on a floured surface and knead a couple of times. Roll the dough gently to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut out circles with a doughnut cutter or the bottom of a glass. Place the circles on the cookie sheet. Bake for about 20-23 minutes or until they have risen and are lightly browned.

 Makes 8

How to Make Whipped Cream

I wait all year for these: local, organic summer strawberries. Their fragrance is so like cotton candy it reminds me what it feels like to be a kid at an amusement park.  These, the small, richly-red, juicy strawberries of summer always make me wonder why I ever buy any other kind, because I know what strawberries are supposed to be and taste like. They are NOT supposed to be some colossal science fiction-fruit, pale-orange/red with white tips, without much taste and dry as pillow stuffing: the kind you find most often in the supermarket.  If you’ve never tasted a real strawberry, locally grown, do yourself a favor and find some. Make sure you buy extra because, if you’re anything like me you’ll eat a carton of them on the way home. Look for the 100% organic so you know it’s non-GMO and hasn’t been sprayed with pesticide.   You don’t need anything else to make strawberries the perfect dessert or snack. They are amazingly, naturally sweet.  If you insist, maybe a squirt of orange juice or orange brandy.  Or homemade whipped cream. Homemade. Because store-bought whipped cream is loaded, unnecessarily, with sugar.                            Here’s my recipe:                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Whipped Cream   1 cup heavy whipping cream  1 teaspoon sugar  1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional  Refrigerate a large bowl (or the bowl of an electric mixer) and beaters for about 30 minutes or until chilled. When ready, pour the cream into the bowl and beat at low speed, then gradually increasing the speed to high for 1-2 minutes or until the cream is slightly thickened. Add the sugar and optional vanilla and continue beating until the cream is thick.  Makes about 2 cups

I wait all year for these: local, organic summer strawberries. Their fragrance is so like cotton candy it reminds me what it feels like to be a kid at an amusement park.

These, the small, richly-red, juicy strawberries of summer always make me wonder why I ever buy any other kind, because I know what strawberries are supposed to be and taste like. They are NOT supposed to be some colossal science fiction-fruit, pale-orange/red with white tips, without much taste and dry as pillow stuffing: the kind you find most often in the supermarket.

If you’ve never tasted a real strawberry, locally grown, do yourself a favor and find some. Make sure you buy extra because, if you’re anything like me you’ll eat a carton of them on the way home. Look for the 100% organic so you know it’s non-GMO and hasn’t been sprayed with pesticide. 

You don’t need anything else to make strawberries the perfect dessert or snack. They are amazingly, naturally sweet.

If you insist, maybe a squirt of orange juice or orange brandy.

Or homemade whipped cream. Homemade. Because store-bought whipped cream is loaded, unnecessarily, with sugar.                          

Here’s my recipe:                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional

Refrigerate a large bowl (or the bowl of an electric mixer) and beaters for about 30 minutes or until chilled. When ready, pour the cream into the bowl and beat at low speed, then gradually increasing the speed to high for 1-2 minutes or until the cream is slightly thickened. Add the sugar and optional vanilla and continue beating until the cream is thick.

Makes about 2 cups

Real Whipped Cream

When I buy the first real, local summer strawberries of the season I remember what lawyer/writer William Allen Butler once said:  "Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did."  I agree. Sometime in the middle of June I know these gems are coming to a market near me. I sniff them out. It’s easy, because they smell like cotton candy and I need some, immediately.  I bought two quarts of strawberries on Friday and ate an entire quart — and then some — all by myself, by Sunday. It’s like eating popcorn. Or potato chips. I can’t just have one.  Every year, when I finish feasting on the first strawberries of the season, I wonder why I buy the year ‘round kind sold in the supermarkets in plastic containers. Those gigantic things that look swell but that taste like nothing. They certainly don’t don’t taste like strawberries. And they’re as dry as a cardboard box to boot.   I vow never to let these red wonders get me again. They’re fake. They’re sold to fool us into thinking that this is what strawberries are.  Don’t be fooled, ever again. S ave yourselves for the real stuff. Find a farmer’s market or store that sells strawberries that haven’t been grown for long-distance travel. Honestly, there’s a reason why food experts suggest eating local produce.   It tastes the way nature intended it to taste.    By the way, you don’t have to do anything to strawberries (other than rinse them). They are dessert unto themselves. There’s no need for cobblers or tarts or anything.  No need for sugar either. Real strawberries are naturally sweet. Like cotton candy.  If you want something fancier, maybe a bit of whipped cream.  Real whipped cream, not too sweet. Like my mother use to make:      Real Whipped Cream      1 cup heavy cream  1 teaspoon sugar  1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional  Place a large mixing bowl and mixer beaters in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to chill them. Pour the cream into the cold bowl and mix, starting at slow speed with an electric mixer then gradually increasing the speed to high, for a minute or so until the cream thickens. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and continue to beat, starting at slow and continuing to high speed, until the mixture is thick. Makes about 2 cups   

When I buy the first real, local summer strawberries of the season I remember what lawyer/writer William Allen Butler once said:

"Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did."

I agree. Sometime in the middle of June I know these gems are coming to a market near me. I sniff them out. It’s easy, because they smell like cotton candy and I need some, immediately.

I bought two quarts of strawberries on Friday and ate an entire quart — and then some — all by myself, by Sunday. It’s like eating popcorn. Or potato chips. I can’t just have one.

Every year, when I finish feasting on the first strawberries of the season, I wonder why I buy the year ‘round kind sold in the supermarkets in plastic containers. Those gigantic things that look swell but that taste like nothing. They certainly don’t don’t taste like strawberries. And they’re as dry as a cardboard box to boot. 

I vow never to let these red wonders get me again. They’re fake. They’re sold to fool us into thinking that this is what strawberries are.

Don’t be fooled, ever again. Save yourselves for the real stuff. Find a farmer’s market or store that sells strawberries that haven’t been grown for long-distance travel. Honestly, there’s a reason why food experts suggest eating local produce. It tastes the way nature intended it to taste. 

By the way, you don’t have to do anything to strawberries (other than rinse them). They are dessert unto themselves. There’s no need for cobblers or tarts or anything.

No need for sugar either. Real strawberries are naturally sweet. Like cotton candy.

If you want something fancier, maybe a bit of whipped cream.

Real whipped cream, not too sweet. Like my mother use to make:

 

Real Whipped Cream

 

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional

Place a large mixing bowl and mixer beaters in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to chill them. Pour the cream into the cold bowl and mix, starting at slow speed with an electric mixer then gradually increasing the speed to high, for a minute or so until the cream thickens. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and continue to beat, starting at slow and continuing to high speed, until the mixture is thick. Makes about 2 cups