shortcake 1 by Kimberley Stakal

It wasn’t until my 20s that I was first introduced to authentic strawberry shortcake. No pound cake, no fake whipped “topping,” no saccharine strawberry syrup. Instead, old-fashioned strawberry shortcake is made of crumbly, buttery biscuits, fresh whipped cream and whole strawberries. The real deal, needless to say, is a world apart from the stuff most of us had as a kid. Here’s my personal recipe for this dazzling, whole-food summer dessert that’s going to win over both kids and adults with its freshness and ripe berry flavor.

Makes 5 servings

Ingredients

Shortcake
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, chilled, diced
¾ cup heavy whipping cream, plus more for brushing
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Whipped cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 orange, zested

Strawberries
1 quart strawberries, stemmed and chopped
2 to 4 tablespoons sugar, to taste

Method

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; grease lightly.

To prepare the shortcake: Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor; pulse a few times.

shortcake 2 by Kimberley Stakal

Add butter to food processor; pulse until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

shortcake 3 by Kimberley Stakal

shortcake 4 by Kimberley Stakal

Add cream and vanilla to food processor; pulse until ingredients come together and a dough just forms.

shortcake 5 by Kimberley Stakal

Remove dough to a floured surface. Knead with hands a few times until mixture just holds. Roll out to a ½-inch thick circle. Using a cookie cutter or a drinking glass, cut out circles from dough (should yield about 10 circles in total). Arrange evenly on prepared baking sheet; brush tops lightly with cream.

shortcake 6 by Kimberley Stakal

Place in oven and bake until lightly puffed and just golden, 11 to 12 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

shortcake 7 by Kimberley Stakal

To prepare the whipped cream: Whip cream gently in a large bowl; add sugar, vanilla and zest and whip until soft-stiff peaks form. Cover and place in refrigerator until ready to assemble.

To prepare the strawberries: Combine strawberries and sugar in a large bowl; toss to coat and add more sugar to taste. Let sit for about 15 minutes before serving for flavors to combine.

shortcake 8 by Kimberley Stakal

To assemble the shortcakes: Place 1 shortcake on a serving plate. Top with a dollop of chilled whipped cream and small scoop of berries. Repeat with another shortcake and layer of whipped cream and berries. Serve immediately.

shortcake 9 by Kimberley Stakal

All images by Kimberley Stakal

Stay in touch with Kimberley on Twitter @GreenGourmetKim