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by on August 15th, 2012

Strawberry Shortcakes

You’re going to say “do what with the egg yolks”.

Summer is slipping away and you will want to try this dessert before those just picked strawberries are no longer available.

My daughter first tried this recipe after seeing it on a blog and I remember her telling me the shortcakes had BOILED EGG YOLKS in them. When I was in culinary school I NEVER heard of using boiled egg yolks in a pastry. According to a La Times article, a trick from chef Larry Forgione is to add a couple of hard boiled egg yolks to his shortcake because the yolks are high in fat and low in moisture and they add richness without toughening the dough. Go figure. Well, I guess he knows what he’s talking about because these are delicious.

I’m sure I have said before that my mother use to make strawberry shortcake by first making homemade pie crust (she always made homemade). She then cut it into strips and baked it until lightly brown and crunchy and then we would crumble it up in our bowls, top with sweetened strawberries and whipped cream. I know, I know, sounds like a lot of trouble but well worth the effort.

Others, I’m sure still buy those little round shortbread cakes that get soggy after you put on your strawberries and get that first bite into your mouth. That’s ok too. But this little shortbread cake seems to be the perfect platform for those strawberries or any other sweetened fruit you may want to try.

There’s those two hard boiled eggs. Remember you only use the yolks.

Zest of one orange is easy using a microplane grater.

There’s those two hard boiled egg yolks. They are going to make the shortcakes delicious.

Fold and knead a couple of times, flatten to about 1″ thickness.

I used a cutter that has fluted edges. You can also pat it out into a circle and just cut it into wedges.

Cute little strawberry huller takes just the top and the center out of the berry with no waste.

Brush tops with cream and sprinkle with sugar.

Strawberry Shortcakes
(adapted from Smitten Kitchen Recipe (Claudia Fleming and Russ Parsons)

1 2/3 c. all purpose flour
3 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. plus 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 hard boiled egg yolks
1/8 tsp. salt
6 Tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 tsp. orange zest (or lemon)
2/3 c. plus 1 Tbsp. heavy cream

For Strawberries:
1 package strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
1/2 c. sugar
juice of 1 orange
whipping cream

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, egg yolks, and salt. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and zest, if using, and pulse until the flour resembles coarse meal. Add 2/3 cup of cream and pulse until the dough comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gather into a shaggy mass. Knead a couple times to make it into a cohesive mass and then pat it into a rough circle about 6 to 7 inches in diameter, and 3/4 to 1-inch thick.

Using a sharp knife, cut the circle into 6 wedges and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Alternately, you can use a cookie cutter to make shapes of your choice. Chill for 20 minutes (and up to 2 hours).

Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush the tops of the shortcakes very lightly with heavy cream and sprinkle lightly with the coarse sugar. Bake until risen and golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Turn the pan around halfway through to ensure even cooking.

While the shortcakes are baking, toss the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice together in a bowl. Let stand several minutes. (If the strawberries are extremely firm, do this 30 minutes in advance.)

Split the shortcakes in half horizontally and set the tops aside. Place the bottoms on dessert plates and heap strawberries over them. Spoon whipped cream generously over the strawberries and replace the shortcake tops. Serve immediately with any remaining whipped cream on the side.

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