What is a true Strawberry Shortcake
When I talk about shortcake I am talking about the biscuit or scone like pastry and not the sponge cake little cups that you can buy in the grocery store next to the fresh strawberries. It is a tender pastry made from flour, butter or shortening, milk, sometimes eggs, baking powder and sugar.
What is "Short" about Shortcake?
Shortcake gets it's name from the adding of shortening or butter to a dough which makes it tender. Calling a baking lard or fat shortening comes from the term "to shorten" a 15th century term which meant, "easily crumbled". Probably because it's fibers were short unlike bread.
Where did it first get started?
We don't know exactly when the first strawberry shortcake was made. We know it goes back as far as 1850.Shortcake however is a European invention that goes back at least to the late 1500's.Strawberries have been around more than 2000 years, we have records that show that ancient Rome, enjoyed them, but puttin strawberries and shortcake together seems to be more of a United States tradition. As with many classic dishes, when the timing is right, the dish becomes a national favorite.
We know that shortcake has been around at least since Shakespeare. It was mentioned in his play, The Merry Wives of Windsor.
A European recipe book in 1594 had a recipe for Short Cakes. The crumbly shortcake which first resembled the texture and shape of a scone, became round when the typical triangular shaped pastries kept having the point break off. It was thought that the round shape became more practical.
Strawberry shortcake parties became popular in the United States around 1850, as a celebration of the coming of summer. It was probably the most popular berry back then, people talked of strawberry fever. This could also be because the railroads became transcontinental and strawberries could be shipped surrounded with ice to keep them fresh, advertisements and articles about strawberry shortcake, caused more and morer demand.An often quoted line from Harpers Magazine in 1893 said, "They give you good eating, strawberries and short-cake- Ohh My!"
One of the early colonists remarked, "Doubtless the almighty COULD make a better berry, but doubtless he never did".
The earliest recipe that we have found for this dessert was in 1847.
It is for Strawberry Cake, but its very similar to what we call shortcake.
Strawberry Cake Recipefrom "The Lady's Receipt-Book" by Miss Leslie, published in 1847
Even during the Depression, the flour millers of Minneapolis still needed to sell their flour. The Betty Crocker cookbooks in the MHS collection show how General Mills encouraged women to use their products in baking and other cooking: the key words here are Bisquick and celebrities. Bisquick combined flour and fat to speed the baking and cooking process; movie stars helped struggling Americans to escape temporarily from their difficult lives. And movie stars using Bisquick - well, the combination must have seemed irresistible to the advertising folks at General Mills. The cookbooks emphasized the glamour of the stars, both men and women, with alluring portraits of the celebrities and their chosen dishes like Mary Pickford’s strawberry shortcake.
From the Minnesota Historical Society
The Future of Strawberry Shortcake The traditional shortcake has really stood the test of time, and it is not overly calorie laden, and so user friendly to most , I feel it will always be around.
Because many folks are looking to cut fat calories, lighter versions are sprouting up in healthy eating and weightconcious recipe magazines. Angel food cake is a good substitute because there are no fat calories, and egg whites are less calories than egg yolks. Strawberries are sweetened with a low calorie sweetener including Stevia.
Substituting white whole wheat pastry flour is a good option because the whole grain fiber, yet it is not heavy like regular whole wheat flour.
Tips on making the great shortcake
The most interesting technique I have seen is using hard boiled egg yolks in the shortcake dough. It makes the dough have a richer and more crumbly texture. My grandmother use to make a cookie that used hard boiled eggs yolks in it. You will find this in James Beard's favorite shortcake recipe below.
Cooks Illustrated suggests grating butter with a hand held grater into the dough. It incorporates better, toand gives a flakier texture.
One of the problems with strawberry shortcake is that fresh strawberries won't stay on the shortcake but just fall on the plate when you are eating. Mashing 1/3 of the berries up a bit and adding them to the sliced berries gives them a bit of 'glue' so they cling to the shortcake.
Adding orange juice, or Grand Mariner to the strawberries adds a new layer of flavor.
Strawberry Shortcakes with Lemon Buttermilk Biscuits
This recipe is from formerchef blog - a wonderful blog with superb recipes and this one is absolutely divine... a perfect little dessert or snack with a cup of tea... the biscuits are so fluffy and just a bit tart - worth the whip - thanks for a terrific goodie - these are the fluffiest and best tasting biscuits i ever had!! Thanks a lot ... Enjoy Alissa
Lemon Buttermilk Biscuits
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
2 Tbsp. Sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
5 Tbsp. Cold Butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup Buttermilk
2 tsp Lemon zest
2 tsp Lemon juice
Strawberries and Cream
2 pints fresh strawberries
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp Amaretto or Grand Manier
1 pint Whipping Cream
1 tsp sugar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. If you don’t have a sifter, that’s fine, just stir everything together. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry cutter or fork until it resembles dry oatmeal. Mix in the lemon zest. Pour in the buttermilk and lemon juice and mix quickly with a spoon just until the dough starts to come together. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead quickly into a ball (do not over work the dough, only about 30 seconds).
Roll out the dough to 1/2 inch thick and then cut with a biscuit cutter or glass. You can combine the cut edges of the dough back together and cut out a few more biscuits. This amount makes 8 ea. 3″ biscuits.
If you want, brush the tops of the biscuits with a little melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Note to self; next time double the batch, roll them out a little thicker (about 3/4″) and cut with a 4″ cutter for a better presentation. More biscuit = more love.
Slice the strawberries and mix with the sugar and lemon juice. These are even better if you let them sit for about an hour as they make their own “sauce” from the strawberry juices, lemon juice and sugar.
Whip the cream with the sugar until light and fluffy.
Let biscuits cool and then gently pull apart. Layer strawberries and whipped cream on the bottom half of the biscuit and place the other half on top .
Erdbeer Shortcakes mit Zitronen Buttermilch Biscuits
Dieses Rezept habe ich mir vom fomerchef blog - übrigens ein wunderschöner sehr leckerer Blog kopiert. Es ist ein herrlich erfrischendes, fluffiges leicht zitroniges Dessert das eine lange Tradition und Geschichte in USA und England hat... Ich liebe Erdbeertörtchen und diese Variante ist schnell unglaublich lecker und sehr dekorativ.. Probiert es aus... LG Alissa
Zitrone Buttermilch Biscuits
2 Tassen Mehl
1 EL Backpulver
1/2 TL Natron
2 EL Zucker
1/2 TL Salz
5 EL kalte Butter, gewürfelt
3/4 Tasse Buttermilch
2 TL Zitronenabrieb
2 TL Zitronensaft
Erdbeeren und Sahne
500 g frische Erdbeeren
1 EL Zucker
1 TL Amaretto oder Grand Manier
1 Becher Schlagsahne
1 TL Zucker
Den Ofen auf 200°C vorheizen.
Mehl. Backpulver, Natron, Zucker und Salz in eine große Schüssel sieben. die Butter mit einem Pastrycutter oder zwei Messern in den Teig einarbeiten bis sie die Konsistenz von Haerflocken hat. Nun die Zitronenschale, Zitronensaft und Buttermilch ganz schnell unterheben bis der Teig eben so zusammenhält. Dann den Teig auf einer bemehlten Fläche blitzschell ganz kurz keneten (nicht länger als 30 Sek). Den Teig ausrollen und mit einem scharfen Keksaustecher Kreise ausstechen udn auf ein gefettetes Backblech legen und 10 - 12 Min backen. WEr mag kann die Biscuits mit geschmolzener Butter bestreichen und Zucker bestreuen.
Die Erdbeeren in Scheiben scheiden und mit dem Zucker und Amaretto marinieren. Die Sahne shlagen.
Die Biscuits auskühlen lassen und vorsichtig halbieren und dann mit Schlagsahne und Erbeeren füllen und den Deckel draufgeben...