I love love love strawberry Shortcake. I am speaking of the desert here, and not the cartoon, although I do have a special place in my heart for her as well. When I was little one of my favourite movies was "Strawberry Shortcake in Big Apple City". Strawberry is the big winner of a nation wide cooking contest and she wins a trip to "Big Apple City" in order to compete in a big bake-off at "the little theater off Times Pear!!" (she makes Strawberry Shortcake!) Sometimes I wonder why I am a lawyer ... I digress!!
The shortcake recipe was inherited from my Grandmother Gerrie! My mother has been baking it up for me for all of my life and it is my favourite. I always look forward to this time of year, when the local strawberry farms are full of beautiful sweet berries. The season is so short so take advantage while you can!
Grandma G's Shortcake:
2 cups all purpose flour
3 T sugar
3 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/3 cup shortening or lard
1 cup milk (2% or whole milk)
2 T butter - cut into small pieces
Heat oven to 450 degrees.
Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
Cut in shortening, then stir in milk until just blended.
Mixture will be thick.
Spoon Mixture into an 8" x 8" square greased pan and dot with butter.
Strawberries w/ Vanilla and Basil Spiked Whipped Cream
2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
2 T basil
1/4 cup icing sugar
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1 vanilla bean
Place Strawberries in a bowl, top with 1 T icing sugar and 1 t basil. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
In the bowl of a mortar and pestle, combine remaining basil and icing sugar. Smash until the basil is well bruised and the sugar and basil are well acquainted!
In a clean metal bowl, whisk together whipping cream sugar + basil mixture, and the insides of the vanilla bean, until soft peaks are formed.
Serve by slicing a piece of the shortcake in half, load the bottom half with as many strawberries and cream as possible, then top with the remaining half!