Cary, NC — As the weeks stretch into months of staying home, we found some fun in picking fresh strawberries at DJ’s Berry Patch, located nearby in Apex off of Davis Drive. When you buy them this fresh, they need to be eaten quickly, and our favorite choice is strawberry shortcake.
With so much more time on our hands these days, I not only made the shortcakes but even whipped up a bowl of fresh whipped cream to top everything off. If you can spare the extra time, it is well worth it! No tub of chemicals for us!
What you need to make this lovely dessert are some very simple ingredients, and most you will have on hand. If not, they can be found just about anywhere.
I make the shortcake biscuits using a baking mix (Bisquik or any store brand will do). Many will even have a shortcake recipe right on the side. Since mixes already have leavening included, you will just be adding some milk, sugar, and butter or margarine. Other than a good batch of strawberries, the only other thing you need is whipped cream and we have a simple recipe for that right here too.
Recipe for the Shortcakes
To make shortcakes, which are really like drop biscuits with a little sugar added, you will need:
- 2-1/4 cups all-purpose baking mix
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Combine baking mix and sugar in mixing bowl
- Add milk and melted butter or margarine, and stir to form a soft dough.
- Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead gently 8-10 times
- Pat or roll the dough out to just 1/2″ thick. Cut with a 3″ wide floured cutter (or we used a drinking glass)
- Place on ungreased baking sheet 1″ apart.
- Bake at 425 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown
- Allow cooling time.
- Split horizontally when ready to serve. (Makes 5 cakes)
Prepare the Berries
I like strawberries a LOT. So I use a generous serving of berries. Depending on berry size, allow at least 3-4 strawberries per person. Wash and pat dry the berries. Slice them and place them in a bowl. Add 1-2 Tablespoons of sugar and mix together well, to form a bit of a syrup.
Homemade Whipped Cream is Easy to Make
Whipped cream only needs vanilla, a cup of whipping or heavy cream and 3 tablespoons of confectioners sugar. Before making, place beaters and a small metal bowl in the refrigerator or the freezer for about 20 minutes to get them really cold. This is a very important step and makes the whole process super fast.
- 1 cup heavy or whipping cream
- 2-4 tablespoons confectioners sugar (we used just 2 T of sugar, but it’s up to you)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine all ingredients in the metal bowl, and with an electric mixer on medium start to beat the cream. It will begin to thicken right away (if you chilled that bowl) and when stiff peaks are formed, you are done. This takes from 2-5 minutes. YUM!
Assemble the Shortcakes
Put the bottom halves of your cakes on separate plates for each serving. Top with a serving of strawberries. Add a dollop of whipped cream, then top with the other half of the shortcake. Top with more berries and more whipped cream. Or any combo you prefer. Some people use just berries in the middle and just whipped cream on the top. You will most likely have some whipped cream leftover. If you do, cover in an airtight container and be sure to use it the next day (if you have any leftover berries, just dip in whipped cream- heaven!)
Where to Get Strawberries
Enjoy! Strawberry season in the Piedmont area of North Carolina runs from mid-April through the end of May. Berries are now ready for curbside pickup and some local farms are offering u-pick. Take a look at our roundup of local strawberry farms to find one near you.
As a rule of thumb, check their websites or Facebook pages for that day’s hours and availability before you head out.
Photos and recipe by Lindsey Chester.