- Luscious Red Strawberries
May and June and early July are the best months to get local strawberries! Sweet, luscious, juicy red strawberries and what better time than the upcoming holiday weekend to have real strawberry shortcake? There’s a twist or two in this old standby dessert and I think it will make a world of difference and bring a level of sophistication and delight to the dish.
Depending on when you plan to serve, read the recipe carefully because the cream is prepared at least 5 hours prior to serving. Good to do first thing in the morning for an afternoon or evening picnic or barbeque.
2 1/4 cups cold heavy cream, plus 2 TBS for brushing
20 large basil leaves plus 1/2 cup small or torn basil leaves
1/4 cup sugar
4 1/2 cups strawberries (1 lb 4 oz) sliced
3 TBS confectioner’s sugar
Bring 1 1/2 cups of cream to a gentle simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bruise the large basil leaves by hitting repeatedly with the dull side of a knife and stir into the cream. Remove from heat, cover tightly with plastic wrap and let steep for 25 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing solids to extract liquid. Refrigerate till very cold at least 5 hours.
Macerate strawberries with 1/4 cup sugar, plus more if needed, depending on sweetness of berries. Stir occasionally, for at least an hour. Toss the berries with small basil leaves.
Whisk basil cream with confectioner’s sugar in the chilled bowl of a mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.
Mound basil cream on shortcake. Spoon berries with juice on top
Recipe from Martha Stewar
I never thought of putting the whipped cream on the shortcake before the berries! Which just goes to show you that you are never too old to learn a new trick. This recipe is from Martha Stewart and I purposefully omitted her recipe for shortcake because I figure at least 75% of the people will buy those ready-made sponge cakes and maybe 10% will make their own short bread and I and the other 15% will make shortcakes from Bisquick. And if you do use Bisquick, their recipe suggests you split the shortcake, fill with berries and top off with cream. I’m going to sort of lightly break my shortcakes apart, then put the cream on and then the berries. Can’t wait till this weekend.
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