Strawberries have been touted by many to be the best of the fruits— and the best of the berries… Delicate, vibrantly-colored, and heart-shaped, they catch the eye, and have been enticing the imagination and the palate throughout the ages. For centuries, the strawberry has been used in stories and paintings to connote innocence, passion, and healing. “Doubtless God could have made a better berry, but doubtless God never did,” said Dr. William Butler, a well-respected, early 17th century physician in speaking of the fruit. Lucky us then, that strawberry season is upon us once more. And what better way to showcase the purity and flavor of this fruit that has stood the test of time and remained perennially a crowd-pleaser, than with a simple shortcake recipe? This recipe couldn’t be more simple. Use the purest ingredients you can find— it will make the flavor truly superb.
2 cups organic all-purpose flour
2 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup organic or grass fed butter
1 cup organic milk
1 quart fresh strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced.
2 Tbs sugar (optional)
1 Tbs fresh mint, washed, dried, and chopped (optional)
1 cup organic heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp sugar (optional)
Bake at 450 degrees for 18 minutes.
Grease an 8-inch round cake pan with additional butter and set aside. Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and stir until combined. Cut the butter into small pieces, and blend with a pastry blender into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly. Pour in the milk. Stir gently with a fork just until combined. Do not overmix. Gently spread the batter into the pan and bake until golden.
In the meantime, prep the strawberries. Add sugar and mint (if using), and toss to mix. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the heavy cream, vanilla extract and 1 tsp of sugar (if using). Beat on high until the mixture begins to thicken. Do not overbeat. The mixture should be thick but not stiff.
When the cake is ready, cool slightly on a wire rack. Cut into individual slices while still warm, and top with berries and whipped cream. Serve immediately.