The markets and roadsides are spilling with strawberries right now and one of our (and likely yours as well!) favorite things to do every Spring is indulge in a classic Strawberry Shortcake. And I don't use the word "indulge" lightly here. Using Bubby's take on the James Beard Cream Biscuit recipe (by adding a cup of sour cream) and of course dipping the whole damn thing into melted butter before baking... makes it rather indulgent indeed. The result is pretty much the perfect biscuit - buttery and slightly crunchy on the outside and soft and almost savory on the inside.
2 pints of organic strawberries (sliced - stems discarded)
2 T. organic sugar
Toss the sliced strawberries with the sugar and refrigerate for at least one hour and up to overnight.
Bubby's Variation on Mr. Beard's Cream Biscuits
5 c. flour
1 t. kosher salt
2 1/2 T. baking powder
1/3 c. sugar
1 c. heavy cream
1 c. sour cream
12 T. melted butter (the recipe calls for unsalted, but I love the extra salt in the salted variety)
Preheat the oven to 425 F and prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Combine all of the dry ingredients and mix together well. In another bowl, mix the heavy cream and sour cream - add this to your dry ingredients. I found working with my hands was best here - begin to mix the dough until you can form a ball of dough (though be careful not to overwork the dough).
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface so it's about 1/2" thick. Using a biscuit cutter (I don't have one so I used a glass cup) create 2" rounds and dunk them into your prepared melted butter. Set on the baking sheet. Continue until you've used up all of the dough.
Bake for about 10 minutes or until they begin to turn golden brown. Rotate the pans once so that they brown evenly. Cool completely on a cooling rack before assembling.
Make the whipped cream by whipping 1 c. of heavy whipping cream with 1 t. vanilla and 2 T. powdered sugar until soft peaks emerge.
Slice a biscuit open and place the bottom half on a plate. Add whipped cream, then a layer of strawberries. Put a layer of whipped cream on the inside of the top half, then place that half of the biscuit on top of your shortcake. Top that with whipped cream and more strawberries.
(Note: My biscuits did not rise as much as I expected they would and I'm nearly 100% certain it's because I added too much flour to my work surface when kneading the dough - so instead of slicing the biscuits in half, I used two whole biscuits - a happy accident!)