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.
- 3/4 lb (about 3 cups) strawberries, hulled
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- freshly grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
- 1 tablespoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes (I recommend European style butter)
- 3/4 cup cold buttermilk
- 1 cup very cold heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoons cold sour cream or greek yogurt (optional)
- 1/2 to 3/4 pounds Strawberries, hulled and sliced- such as Driscoll's
- Coarsely chop up the strawberries and toss them in a small saucepan with the sugar and water. Cook over medium heat for 5-8 minutes, or until the juices are slightly thickened and the strawberries have softened. Scrape into a bowl and set aside. This can be made ahead by up to 3 days.
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, put the sugar, lemon zest and thyme in and rub it between your fingers to release the oils in the zest.
- Add the rest of the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
- Add the butter and using your fingertips, mix into the flour until flakey and in pebbles.
- Pour in the buttermilk and with a fork toss everything together until it is absorbed. The dough will be wet but once almost everything is combined, reach into the bowl and knead with your hands, turning it over 6 to 8 times.
- Lightly dust your work surface with flour and turn out the biscuit dough.
- Pat the dough out until it is 1/2 inches thick.
- Using a high-sided 2 inch biscuit cutter, cut the biscuits out and place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Cut out as many biscuits as you can.
- Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until the biscuits have risen and the tops are golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack.
- Just before serving, make the whipped cream by placing the heavy cream in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment and beat it until soft mounds appear.
- While still beating add the sugar and vanilla extract. Continue to beat until it holds firm peaks and then quickly beat in the sour cream or greek yogurt if using.
- To assemble, cut the biscuits in half and spoon a small amount of the compote on the bottom, top with whipped cream and finish with sliced strawberries. Save the top of the biscuit to snack on later.
- Serve immediately.
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So pretty and delicious looking!
just beautiful Susan! going to check out Dorie’s recipe now!
These strawberry shortcakes look so pretty! Almost too pretty to eat! Almost 😉
I have a friend who’s fave dessert EVER is strawberry shortcake – he’d die over this!
Those biscuits are amazing, perfect for shortcake!
Susan, I’m hopping on a plane right this minute, so save me some. This is freaking amazing.
This looks heavenly! I love strawberry shortcake — love the addition of thyme!
You had me at thyme — what a great way to inject more summer into a fabulous summer dessert! And those shortcakes look perfect.
What a great opportunity to hang out, even virtually, with the amazing Dorie Greenspan. She is just the loveliest lady ever. And damn, those are exquisite biscuits. Talk about towering! I love strawberry shortcake and the thyme twist you used here sounds incredible.
This looks fantastic! But I have to say, the lemon thyme biscuits are my favorite part!
Bring on the summer strawberry thyme shortcakes!
YUM, looks so delicious! 🙂
I love strawberry shortcake. I’ve never had it made with biscuits, very interesting!
Soooo cool! What a fun learning experience. I love the biscuit tips. This looks so summery and perfect for a cool treat on a hot night.
I look at this and wonder why I don’t make strawberry shortcakes more often. These look amazing!
So delicious and perfect for summer!