I look at all the blogs I follow and find it remarkable and admirable that so many of my fellow foodies make the effort to post every day.
I wish I could do the same but sometimes I just don’t have the time or the energy.
My blog is an escape for me, an outlet for two of my passions – cooking and writing – and when I’m not feeling motivated or inspired, it’s hard to fake it.
Luckily, I have found my mojo again these past few days, which is a good thing since it's once again time for the Simply Sweet Sunday Ingredient Challenge!
I missed the last challenge, which I was really bummed about, so this is my chance for redemption.
Strawberries are one of my favourite fruits. They can be used in so many different ways in both savoury and sweet dishes. Remember this and this?
For this challenge, I decided to make strawberry shortcake. There is nothing that makes strawberries more decadent than homemade scones and fresh whipped cream. Well, maybe chocolate, but that’s another story.
I started off with two pounds of fresh strawberries.
After giving them a good wash, I hulled and sliced them.
Then I added about two tablespoons of sugar, gave everything a good stir, and set the bowl aside to let the strawberries macerate.
To make the scones, I started by whisking together flour, sugar, baking powder and a bit of salt.
I cut some butter up into small cubes and used two knives (note to self: buy pastry blender) to mix it into the flour mixture until it had a crumb-like texture.
In a separate bowl, I added a lightly beaten egg, half and half, and vanilla extract and whisked it all together.
On a floured surface, I kneaded the dough, then rolled it out and cut out eight circles (I ended up re-rolling the dough to get the last two).
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cold unsalted butter
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup cream, half and half or milk
2 pounds fresh strawberries
2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
Wash, hull and slice the strawberries. Add the sugar and toss to coat, then set aside to macerate at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 375° F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into small cubes and blend into the flour mixture using a pastry blender or two knives until it becomes crumb-like in texture.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, cream and vanilla extract.
Form a well in the flour mixture and add the liquid ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead 4 or 5 times. Roll out into a 7-inch circle and use a floured round cookie cutter or drinking glass to cut out rounds.
Lightly brush the tops of the rounds with a beaten egg or some cream.
Place rounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until golden brown on top and a toothpick placed in the centre comes out clean.
Set scones aside to cool.
For the whipped cream, beat the whipping cream until it starts to thicken. Add the sugar and continue beating until the whipping cream forms stiff peaks.
To assemble, cut the scones in half. Add a spoonful of strawberries to each of the bottom halves and top with the whipped cream, then put the other halves on top and serve.