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How to Make Tender, Flaky Strawberry Shortcake

Know how to make a well in your dough and what it looks like when a recipe says "don't overmix?" We can help you achieve strawberry shortcake perfection -- check out our guide!

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Strawberry shortcake is a classic American dessert that takes strawberries and cream to a whole new level. There are many different versions but this recipe makes it true shortcake. A slightly sweetened tender biscuit to hold it all together. To make the shortcakes, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it and set it aside for now. Place 1-1/2 cups of flour in a medium bowl. Add 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. Stir all the dry ingredients together. Next, add 1/3 of a cup of very cold butter that you cut into smaller pieces, about 1 tablespoon each. Use a pastry blender to cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Then, make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Crack an egg into a small bowl and lightly beat it. Add 1/2 cup of plain yogurt or sour cream and 3 tablespoons of milk. Whisk the wet ingredients together until they're blended. Pour it all at once into the flour mixture. Use a fork to stir the dough together until it's just combined. Be careful not to overmix it or you'll end up with tough shortcakes. Drop the dough into 8 mounts on the prepared baking sheet. You'll want them slightly rounded but don't fuss too much. The free formed shortcakes give this dessert a rustic homy touch. Bake the shortcakes in the oven until they're golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes. Then transfer them to a wire rack to cool. In the meantime, you can prepare the strawberries. You'll need 5 cups of sliced strawberries for this recipe, which will take about 2 to 3 pints of fresh strawberries. Today, we're using strawberries but this works just as well with almost any fruit that's in season. Wash the berries and pat them dry with a paper towel. Next, you're going to hold them with a paring knife. Just slice in at an angle under the green stem and turn the strawberry in a circular motion. This removes the leaves and the tough white core. Slice the strawberries to measure 5 cups. Place 4 cups of the sliced strawberries into a medium bowl and add 3 tablespoons of sugar. Toss the berries with the sugar and set it aside for 15 to 20 minutes. What you're doing is macerating the strawberries. The sugar will draw out the liquid from the berries and creates light syrup. If you want more of a saucy texture, you can mash the berries slightly with a potato masher. When the strawberries are ready and the shortcakes have cooled, it's time to make the sweetened whipped cream. Pour 1 cup of whipping cream into a chilled bowl and add 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla. Beat the mixture on medium speed with an electric mixer until it forms soft peaks. You want the whipped cream to hold it straight but curl at the tip. Perfect. Now you have everything you need for a heavenly shortcake. Just cut shortcakes in half horizontally. Spoon some of the macerated strawberries over the bottom, then top it with a generous dollop of whipped cream. Replace the shortcake top and finish it with a sprinkling of the remaining sliced strawberries. This is a dessert that's really a feast for the eyes. You should try it with any fruit that's in season that you have on hand for equally satisfying results.