As I’ve gotten older, a funny thing has happened where I’ve become less obsessed with chocolate desserts and more in love with fruity desserts – especially if those fruits happen to be strawberries! I can enjoy chocolate cake in moderation, but when it comes to strawberries, I want them all. To me, strawberry shortcake is the perfect not-too-sweet, fresh & fruity summer treat.
So naturally, when I flipped through my friend Gaby’s gorgeous new cookbook What’s Gaby Cooking: Everyday California Food, I went straight for the strawberry shortcake recipe. Well, actually, there were two strawberry recipes that spoke to me. One was a delectable-looking breakfast flatbread with ricotta and strawberry basil jam, and the second – this classic strawberry shortcake. There are few flavor combos that I love more than strawberries and basil, so I did a bit of a mashup where I added basil to this otherwise traditional strawberry shortcake. Simple, classic, and a celebration of (soon to be) summer.
How to make Strawberry Shortcake:
- Start by mixing your chopped strawberries with sugar, and set them aside to chill for a few hours. This helps the berries release some of their juices, making for a delicious fruity filling. If you’re using basil like I did, wait to stir it in until the last minute.
- Pulse the biscuit dough together in a food processor, divide it into 9 portions, and let it chill for 20 minutes. Then: bake!
- Beat together heavy cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar to make the fluffy whipped topping.
- When the biscuits are done baking, slice them in half, layer in the filling, and dollop on the cream.
If you love this strawberry shortcake recipe…
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- optional addition: ¼ cup sliced basil
- 3 cups (375 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1½ tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (1½ sticks) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ⅔ cup powdered sugar
- seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- To make the strawberries: Combine the strawberries and sugar in a large bowl and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight if time allows, until juicy. Just before serving, stir in the basil.
- To make the biscuits: In a food processor, combine the flour, lemon zest, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pulse for 30 seconds, or until the ingredients are evenly combined. Add the butter and pulse for 20 to 30 seconds, until the butter is cut into pea-sized chunks. Add the cream and vanilla to the food processor and process for 30 seconds, or until you have a dough. Remove the dough from the food processor and divide it into 9 equal portions about 3 ounces each. Form each portion of dough into a biscuit about ¾ inch thick. Transfer the biscuits to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and chill for 20 minutes in the fridge.
- While the biscuits chill, preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the biscuits are medium golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack to cool.
- To make the cream: Combine the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla bean seeds in a large stand mixer and whip until medium stiff peaks form.
- To assemble: Slice the biscuits in half. Top the bottoms of each biscuit with a large spoonful of the strawberries. Place the top half of the biscuit on top of each and finish with a large dollop of the cream. Serve immediately.