sunday dinner : strawberries + cream scones

the farmers market is over flowing with strawberries– they are completely gorgeous and delicious.   as my refrigerator is overflowing with berries, i have been craving strawberry shortcake like my mom used to make.  during the summer, she would serve it to us girls for dinner as a special treat.
tonight, i decided to try alice waters or as cw refers to her, pol pot’s recipe.  this reference comes from an anthony bourdain who likened her to the cambodian dictator,  “she’s pol pot in a muumuu. …. she used six cords of wood to cook one egg for lesley stahl.”  i saw that episode of 60 minutes and have to agree that was a completely ridiculous breakfast but i will say that alice water’s the art of simple food is a great cookbook and this dessert came out perfect. so alas back to the subject, the strawberries and cream scones with recipe below….

strawberry shortcake (6 servings) adapted from alice waters’ the art of simple food
ingredients :
strawberry component : 4 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced, 1/4 cup sugar
whipped cream: 1 cup heavy cream, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste (i omit)
cream biscuits : 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 4 teaspoons sugar (optional), 2 teaspoons baking powder, 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces, 3/4 cup heavy cream
powdered sugar (optional)
to make:

  • make strawberry component: in a medium bowl, combine the strawberries and sugar.
  • remove 1 cup of the strawberry mixture, and purée it in a blender or food processor. Return the purée to the rest of the strawberries; stir. Set aside at least 15 minutes.
  • make biscuits: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  • in a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar (if using) and baking powder.
  • cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender or your fingertips. The pieces should be the size of small peas.
  • measure cream; set aside 1 tablespoon. add the remaining cream to the flour, and stir with a fork until the mixture just comes together. lightly knead the dough a few times in the bowl, turn it out onto a lightly floured board, and roll out about 3/4 inch thick.
  • cut six 2-inch circles or squares out of the dough. reroll the scraps, if necessary.
  • place the biscuits on a baking sheet lined with parchment, and brush the tops with the tablespoon of cream.
  • bake for 17 minutes or until golden and done.
  • make whipped cream: let cool and make whipped cream: In a standing mixer with the whisk attachment, whip together the cream, vanilla and sugar until it starts to form soft peaks.
  • serve: slice the cream biscuits in half. for each biscuit, spoon the strawberry mixture onto the bottom half, and add a dollop of whipped cream. Top with the other biscuit half, and dust it with powdered sugar.

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