It was to be your standard Wednesday afternoon, get up, go to work, do work things, go home, etc. . . Yet that one particular Wednesday had a little something different planned in the middle of “do work things.” Instead of my usual lunch break, I was invited by Driscoll’s to spend some time with a group of bloggers on a Google Hang-out on air with James Beard Award winning author Dorie Greenspan.
If you don’t know Dorie, she’s kind of a big deal and if you are a baker to have an opportunity to learn from her wisdom you do not pass this up! Especially since this chat was to do with making Dorie’s Strawberry Shortcake, a recipe she has mastered and was kind enough to devote an hour of her time to share with us.
Strawberry Shortcake isn’t simply a biscuit, some whipped cream and strawberries. Dorie’s recipe builds layers and flavors and can still be put together easily and in a relatively short amount of time. I thought I’d provide a few of the key tips that we learned during our chat to make sure your shortcake making is just as successful as mine.
- Make sure your ingredients are fresh! Fresh butter should smell like cream, old butter takes on smells of the refrigerator and that will reflect in the final product.
- You want the baking powder and soda to be new. Check the expiration dates, if they’ve expired your biscuits will not rise. Do you see the height mine got?
- You can use a pastry cutter but Dorie prefers her hands for blending the butter into the flour. There should be a mix of sizes, from pebbles, to pieces of oatmeal and larger chunks. The butter will works it’s way into the biscuit as it cooks, steam and help with the rising.
- Use a metal cutter and cut straight down for the biscuits. Do not twist.
- You’ll get about 2 good batches when cutting out the biscuits but after the third refold you should save that for “bakers treats”.
- Go ahead and make the strawberry compote ahead of time, the rest should be made fresh and right before serving.
So how did everything turn out after my lesson from Dorie? Amazing. I was never a big fan of strawberry shortcake growing up, mostly because I despised whipped cream (goes back to my not drinking milk thing).
Lucky for me, I realized how amazing homemade whipped cream is versus the stuff from a came and can appreciate the deliciousness of a homemade strawberry shortcake.
I didn’t change much from the original recipe, however I did make my compote a little wetter and more like a syrup. The rose extract was taken out, since I personally am not a fan but I replaced it with fresh thyme since I love the combination of fresh herbs and berries.
You can go ahead and check out Dorie’s original recipe on Driscoll’s website here and my adapted version below.
Kickstarter update! We are so so so close! Just a week remains and only 10% left to fund. If you love cookies, especially ones that are made with organic and free-trade ingredients I would love your support to meet my goal. In return you will have some of the best cookies delivered to your home. I promise! 🙂 Not to mention my eternal gratitude