Strawberry/Peach Shortcakes


2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
2 Tablespoons sugar
Whipping cream
Vanilla

Combine sliced strawberries and sugar in a bowl. Set aside at room temperature to macerate (which means that the sugar will soften the strawberries and help release their juices).

Whip the cream, adding a drop or two of vanilla and a teaspoon of sugar. (If your vanilla extract contains alcohol, don’t add it until the last minute.)

To serve, split biscuit in half. Top with strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream. (We didn’t add sugar to the peaches when we made peach shortcakes…they seemed sweet enough on their own.)

Biscuits

3 cups all purpose flour (maybe 4?)
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Toss with a fork to combine. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter or a fork until the largest pieces of butter are the size of peas. (Or pulse several times in a food processor.) Combine the cream and vanilla in a liquid measure. Make a well in the center of the flour and and pour the cream mixture into the well. Mix with a fork until the dough is evenly moistened and just combined; it should look shaggy and still feel a little dry. Gently knead by hand five or six times to create a loose ball. (I had to add another cup or so of flour to make this happen.) Refrigerate the ball in parchment paper or plastic wrap for about 20 minutes.

Heat the oven to 425ºF. Remove the dough from refrigerator. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, and pat it into a large square, 3/4 to 1 inch thick. Cut into biscuits (I desperately need biscuit cutters, but for now, a glass turned upside-down will do).   Spread the cut biscuits out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (or lightly greased) – place them about 2 inches apart. Bake until the biscuits are medium golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.

Makes 9-11 biscuits.

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