I always enjoy creating a colorful red, white and blue dessert for patriotic holidays like Memorial Day, Labor Day and Independence day. This year I thought I'd bring some additional color to a traditional strawberry shortcake. Adding blueberries to the strawberries and whipped cream not only completes the patriotic color scheme, it also adds a new burst of flavor to an already tasty dessert. I make sweet buttermilk biscuits in my recipe and I was given the idea of shredding the butter from one of my Facebook friends. This idea is a great way to keep the butter cold and makes it easier to blend it into the flour mixture.
Patriotic Strawberry Shortcake
serves 6-8 and is a great dessert for backyard picnics
1lb Fresh Strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped
1/2 cu Sugar
1 tbl Lemon Juice
1/2 cu Water
1/2 cu Cold Unsalted Butter
2 cu All-Purpose Flour
2 tbl Granulated Sugar
2 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 lg Egg
3/4 Cold Buttermilk Milk
Additional flour for rolling the biscuits
2 cu Cold Whipping Cream
1/2 cu Powdered Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Berries and Mint
1 lb Strawberries, washed and sliced
1 cu Blueberries, washed
Fresh Mint Leaves, optional, for garnish
Early in the day, make the sauce by putting the chopped strawberries and water into a blender. Blend until smooth and transfer to a medium saucepan. Add sugar and bring mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Boil for 5 minutes and then reduce the heat to a simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes until mixture thickens a bit. Remove from heat and strain though a fine mesh strainer. Add lemon juice and refrigerate until cold.
To make the biscuits, use a box grater to grate the butter into a bowl. Place the grated butter in the freezer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add chilled butter and cut it into the flour with a pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse meal. If you don't have a pasty cutter, use your hands to blend butter into the flour mixture. But, work as quickly as possible so that you're not warming the butter too much with your hands.
Whisk egg into the buttermilk until fully blended. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour egg mixture into it. Fold and stir with a spatula until ingredients are just combined. Don't over mix the dough. Transfer onto a floured board and gently shape the dough into a circle about 1" thick. Add a bit of flour if it's too wet, but don't overwork it. Using a 3" cutter, cut rounds from the dough and place them on a lined baking (lined with either a silicon baking pad or parchment paper). Reshape any extra dough and cut more rounds. This should yield 6-8 biscuits. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Separately, whip cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Transfer cream to a pasty bag or a large disposable bag with a small slit cut into one of the corners.
To serve, slice a biscuit in half. Spoon a bit of strawberry sauce on the bottom half. Pipe a bit of cream over the sauce and top with slices of strawberries. Pipe a bit more cream over the strawberries and place the top of the biscuit over it. Pipe a bit of cream on the top and add some blueberries and mint. Drizzle a bit of sauce over the whole dessert and serve.