During strawberry season, I often make strawberry shortcakes around the same time that I make my classic strawberry jam to put up for the year, because I like to use the fresh jam in place of fresh strawberries in this classic dessert. The warm jam soaks into the biscuits, helping hold the two sides of the cakes together, and it also gives the dessert a sweet, decadent flavor. (If you’re not making your own strawberry jam, buy a good-quality jam that has a bright, fresh flavor and will loosen up nicely when you heat it.) These shortcakes are best eaten warm, so if you’re planning ahead, steep and chill the whipped cream ahead of time, and reheat your jam, so that the jam is warmed through and the cream is cold enough to whip right when the biscuits come out of the oven.
You can make an extra batch of the biscuits I use in this shortcake recipe and freeze them for future breakfasts or desserts.
For the Shortcakes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, very cold
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 cup buttermilk
For the Ginger Whipped Cream
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1 cup strawberry jam (my homemade Classic Strawberry Jam or a good store-bought version), warmed
- 4 fresh strawberries, halved
- Powdered sugar, for dusting
Make the shortcakes: Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, then mix in the baking powder, sugar, and salt. Cut 1 cup of the butter into large pieces and add it to the bowl, then cut the butter into the dry ingredients using two sharp knives or a pastry cutter, until you have pieces about the size of peas. Add the sour cream to the bowl, then slowly pour in the buttermilk while stirring.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put the remaining 1 tablespoon butter into a large cast-iron pan and put the pan into the oven to heat.
Flour a work surface well and turn out the biscuit dough. Flour your hands and the top of the dough and pat the dough out to about half an inch thick, shaping the dough into a disk.
Take the hot pan out of the oven and use a biscuit cutter 3 inches in diameter to cut out four biscuits, placing them in the hot pan. Return the pan to the oven and bake until golden brown on top and brown and crisp on the bottom, about 20 minutes. Transfer the biscuits to a rack to cool.
Make the whipped cream: Put the cream and the ginger into a medium pan and warm over medium cream, until the liquid simmers. Turn off the heat (before the cream begins to bubble) and pour the cream and ginger into a heat-proof container. Chill the cream until it is very cold, at least 30 minutes.
Pour the cream into a mixing bowl through a sieve to remove the ginger. Whip the cream with a hand mixer (or in the bowl of a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment). Add the sugar little by little as you whip and stop when you have stiff peaks; the cream should be very firm but not on the verge of turning to butter.
Cut the biscuits in half and spread about ¼ cup of the jam on the bottom half of the biscuit. Scoop about ¼ cup of whipped cream onto the jam and top it with the top half of the biscuit. Top the stack with another small scoop of whipped cream and a couple of fresh strawberry halves and dust the whole thing with powdered sugar.
Featured in Episode 106 of Ranch To Table on Magnolia Network.
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Photos: Brian Skope