Strawberry Shortcake

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The Scoop:

Sometimes I just need to get out of the city.  I love the city.  I really do.  I’m a city-girl by choice.  Even so, understandably, sometimes I need to get out.  The escape can be as simple as a twenty five minute drive to go strawberry picking at a local farm on a Saturday morning or as involved as a week long trip home to visit my parents in my small hometown.  Actually, both things happened recently and thanks to some quiet time away, I am feeling more relaxed and refreshed than I have in ages!

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There are so many things that I love about visiting home and spending time with my parents, but the front  runner is probably the food.  There are a few local spots I hit on every trip  home, but what I really love is having my mom cook for me.  There’s something about a mom-made dinner that just can’t be beat!  Do we all agree?

This recipe comes directly from Betty Crocker via my mom.  It’s  the only strawberry shortcake she’s ever made and in my opinion its the best one out there.  This is an actual shortcake.  Its not a biscuit, or a pound cake, or a sponge cake.  This is true blue shortcake.  It has just enough sugar to qualify as a dessert, yet is simple enough to serve as a base for those super sweet summer berries.

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The way to properly eat strawberry shortcake has been a huge point of contention in my family for basically my entire life.  My dad taught my brother and I to eat the cake warm in a bowl, topped with crushed berries and doused in a BIG splash of milk.  The porous cake soaks up the milk and the juice from the berries turning the dessert into a mushy delight.

My mom thinks that’s about the most disgusting things she’s ever seen (Roommate agreed as she watched me eat it) so she opts of a more classic presentation of a big wedge of cake smothered with a healthy ladle of crushed berries.  I felt like it was only fair to photo the dish both ways, so go ahead and decide for yourself which you prefer!

Oh and did I mention that this is the easiest dessert that will ever come out of your kitchen??  So if you don’t have anything planned for 4th of July… ummmmm… tomorrow, then this has to be your go-to!

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The Goods:

INGREDIENTS:

Cake:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 1 cup milk

Berry Topping:

  • 1 lb fresh strawberries
  • 2-4 Tbs sugar

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The Deets:

Preaheat the oven to 450 degrees and grease a round 8 1/2 or 9 inch baking dish.  My mom always uses a cake pan, but I opted for a ceramic pie dish… both work great!

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Use a pastry cutter to blend in the shortening until the mixtures looks like fine meal.  Finally stir in the milk with a spatula and mix until the dough is well blended.

Transfer the dough to the prepared baking dish and pat it into an even layer, pressing it into the edges.  Bake the shortcake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on top.

While the cake is baking, clean and hull the strawberries.  Use a potato masher to crush them in a large bowl.  Fresh picked berries work best for this as they tend to be smaller and sweeter.  Stir in the desired amount of sugar based on the sweetness of the berries.  I always start with 2 Tbs and add more as needed.

Serve the cake warm and topped with crushed berries (with or without the milk).

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The Inspiration:

My mom… and Betty Crocker!

(no link to the original recipe as it comes from a cookbook my mom’s been using since she got married!)

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This is freedom.

XOXO,

Tall One

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