It’s Strawberry Time!

strawberries.jpg

If you’ve had a chance to visit any of the outdoor markets lately, you’ve seen them. Piles of bright red berries, gleaming in the sunlight, just waiting to be taken home and devoured! There are a variety of strawberries here in Sicily, from the impossibly tiny fragoline to the gigantic fragolone, and every size in between. Although strawberries are a wonderfully healthy, low-calorie treat when eaten plain, I look forward to strawberry season for another reason: Strawberry Shortcake!

The strawberry shortcake I grew up eating was assembled using those little yellow sponge cake cups that can be found right next to the strawberries in almost any grocery store in the United States. As a child, I thought those little pre-packaged treats were wonderful topped with strawberries and whipped cream. But after tasting homemade strawberry shortcake for the first time several years ago, I walked away from the little yellow cakes and I’ve never looked back!

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I’ve been experimenting lately with my old shortcake recipe and I’ve come up with a new one that generously serves four people. If you have a large family, double the recipe. Shortcake is best eaten warm from the oven and since this recipe is fairly quick and easy, you can prepare it right before you want to eat it.

These shortcakes are simply butter-rich, slightly sweet drop biscuits (very close to a scone). And although they may not taste like dessert if you eat them on their own, they are the perfect accompaniment to the sweet strawberries and syrup.

For best results, make sure your butter is very cold and work quickly. Also, be sure to let the strawberry and sugar mixture macerate while you proceed with the recipe as the berries need time to release their tasty juices! For easy clean-up, try lining your baking sheet with parchment paper.

Strawberry Shortcake
4 C. fresh strawberries, rinsed and sliced
4 – 6 T. sugar (adjust to suit your own taste)
1 ½ C. all-purpose flour
1 ½ t. baking powder
4 T. sugar
1/3 C. butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 C. cold milk
1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
whipped cream (I prefer the real thing)

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the strawberries and sugar. Set aside while you prepare the shortcakes.
  • In another medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and sugar.
  • Using a pastry blender or your fingertips and working quickly, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Add milk and vanilla all at once to flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  • Using a large spoon, drop mixture into four equal piles on an ungreased baking sheet.
  • Bake 12 – 15 minutes at 425 degrees.
  • Remove biscuits to a rack and let cool for a few minutes.
  • To serve, split a biscuit in two, spoon ¼ of the berry mixture over the bottom half (make sure you include lots of the juice), top with whipped cream and the other half of the biscuit.

More Ways With Strawberries

Last week, I asked for some strawberry recipe contributions to be included in this post. Thanks to everyone who responded, I received some really great ideas!

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First I’ll start out with a drink recipe given by my friend Ruby. It’s a fresh strawberry margarita recipe and she says that the most important ingredient for a good blended margarita is a good blender!

Fresh Strawberry Margaritas for Two

wedge of lime and coarse salt to rim the glass!
2 cups of crushed ice
6 cut, fresh strawberries (minus stems)
1/2 shot of lime juice
pinch of coarse salt (optional)
pinch of sugar (optional, depends on how sweet you want it)
1 1/2 shots of tequila (good tequila)
1/2 shot of triple sec

  • Rub lime on the edges of two margarita glasses and dip in salt (optional)
  • Blend all ingredients to a fine puree.
  • Divide drink mixture between the two glasses.
  • Garnish with a strawberry and you have achieved total yumminess!
    Recipe source: Ruby Berry

Moving on…
Veronica from La Recette du Jour gives us a recipe for Strawberries Romanoff, a recipe she says is good for enhancing early-season, dull-tasting strawberries.

Next up, Sara from The Kitchen of San Lorenzo submitted the simple but elegant Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar.

Then, Terry from Blue Kitchen chimed in with a sweet and tangy salsa recipe that stars both mangoes and strawberries! You must head over there and check out the Spicy Salmon with Mango Salsa!

Melody from Fruit Tart answered my request for Strawberry Pie recipes with her beautiful and rustic Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. In her own words, “This is ‚Äòfarm food‚Äô. It isn‚Äôt fancy gourmet stuff. This is the simple, rustic, real thing.”

Alanna from A Veggie Venture was way ahead of me when it came to rounding up strawberry recipes! She wrote about three of them — Strawberries in Wine, Strawberry Banana Chocolate Crumble and Strawberry Fool — in her Kitchen Parade Article.

Anne from A Foodie Froggie in Paris (I just love the name of her blog!), was also generous with her strawberry recipes! First there’s the Strawberry and Raspberry Tiramisu. And as if that’s not enough, she gives us two more — Strawberry Soup and Strawberry and Mango Tartare with Orange Blossom. Wow!

Mary from the aptly titled blog, Sweet Mary, gives us another unbelievably gorgeous, lattice-top Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. It’s beautiful, go check out the photos!

How does this sound? Camembert with Baked Strawberries and black pepper, Tagliatelle with Strawberries and Lemon Sole, Strawberry Lassi… Intrigued? Well, head over to Paulchen’s Food Blog for a strawberry-based menu that, to me, sounds out of this world!

And finally, go visit What Did You Eat for some Strawberry Coffeecake. This looks so good that I think it will be the very first new strawberry recipe I try!

Update: Just found another interesting strawberry recipe! Rachel at Coconut and Lime made some Lemon Cupcakes with Strawberry Centers and they look yum-my!

Oh, and one more! Deb from Smitten Kitchen just posted a beautiful beautiful Strawberry Rhubard Crumble!¬† If the pies seem like too much effort but you’re craving that strawberry rhubarb combination, this recipe might be right up your alley! If not, go check out Smitten Kitchen anyway, I guarantee you’ll find something to drool over!

Another Update: Have you ever tried Strawberry Bruschetta? I had never heard of it, but after reading the recipe over at Patty’s Pantry NYC, I can’t wait to try it!

And still another one… Go check out the Strawberry Rhubarb Sponge Pudding made by Susan over at Food Blogga!

Now for more shortcake recipes

Veronica from La Recette du Jour is back to give us a recipe for biscuits that she says are light and crumbly and would also make a nice base for other desserts.

Jen, from The Barmy Baker, gives us her Scrumptious Strawberry Shortcake with lots of mouthwatering photos! While you’re there, make sure to congratulate her, she was recently married :-)

For more beautiful Strawberry Shortcake photos and another great recipe, visit Culinary Concoctions by Peabody and prepare to drool! Her Strawberry Shortcake using Cinnamon Scented Biscuits and Mascarpone Cheese really takes Strawberry Shortcake to the next level!

Now I know that there are tons of strawberry recipes out there, so feel free to add links to your favorites in the comments box below! Enjoy!

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36 Comments
  1. Corinne

    YUMMY! How about your shortcakes with Ruby’s Margarita’s! Can’t wait to make ‘em!

    11:10 pm  May 16th, 2007
  2. Terry B

    I don’t do a lot of baking, but any recipe that includes the direction “drop mixture into four equal piles” I have to try. I’ve always been one for making drop biscuits rather than rolling out the dough and using a biscuit cutter.

    And what is with the giant strawberries? The other day I bought some that were nearly big as tennis balls!

    2:54 am  May 17th, 2007
  3. Ruby

    Terry, its unfortunate the the big strawberries indicate lots of pesticides were used while they were growing. If you find smaller, the ones you see in someone’s garden, it is more then likely that they are organic.

    I’m going to make the shortcake this weekend Nicole, I just can’t get enought of strawberries over the summer months!

    Your wonderful, as always!
    Lots of love to you…

    3:45 am  May 17th, 2007
  4. Stephanie

    Something about strawberries. I enjoyed reading about them and your experience in Sicily. And seeing the pics. And someday–I will attempt to join the cooking people by trying a recipe.
    And after this strawberry topic–i am so craving strawberry pizza! Because I know I wont experience your strawberry shortcake. There are going to be a lot of people waiting in Fresno for your cooking when you visit!!
    Miss ya!!

    11:29 pm  May 17th, 2007
  5. macgyversrollofducttape

    I use strawberries every day in my protein or veggie shake. Also, how dare you give up on those little yellow sponge cakes! You’re just jealous that you can’t buy them in Sicily.

    Also, how come every time I see Ruby or see you write about her there is alcohol involved? =)

    8:28 pm  May 19th, 2007
  6. Nicole

    Corinne: Still haven’t tried the margaritas yet, let me know how they turn out if you guys make them! :-)

    Terry: Besides the fact that I’m kind of lazy, I like the drop biscuit method because I like the way they look…much more rustic looking and each one is different!

    Ruby: Did you make the shortcake?

    Steph: What’s strawberry pizza? Kathy just gave me the recipe for the fresh strawberry pie that my mom used to make (cream cheese and strawberries) so I’m going to try making that today.

    Jason: Ummm…what’s a veggie shake? Strawberries in protein shakes are good! I just got a bunch of strawberries yesterday and I think I’m going to make a smoothie of some sort for breakfast. Kathy said they have great cherries and strawberries at the Fresno Farmer’s Market, you and Corinne should go! And I’ll let Ruby respond to the last part of your comment ;-)

    7:15 am  May 20th, 2007
  7. macgyversrollofducttape

    You know, a veggie shake…

    I was having a protein based meal supplement smoothie on the daily, but I switched over to a fruit/vegetable based meal supplement smoothie because I think the protein was keeping me too bulky. I figure that since vegetarians/vegans are usually frail wisps, there must be some connection between vegetables and slenderness.

    Not that I’ll EVER be able to consider myself a “frail wisp.”

    8:28 pm  May 20th, 2007
  8. sher

    Your shortcake looks absolutely perfect! That looks very similar to the way my grandmother made them, which was a favorite of everyone who ate it. Thank you for including me in your roundup of marvelous recipes. I’ve been a bit distracted by an influx of sick wildlife (I’m a rehabilitator, and have been distracted.), so I haven’t thanked you as I should. :):)

    11:21 pm  May 20th, 2007
  9. Ruby Berry

    No Comment! ;)

    5:52 pm  May 21st, 2007
  10. Curt

    Nicole, my wife does a fruit pizza that I’m going to post on… Strawberry season is the right time to have it!

    also, I tried your pizza crust the other day, and I really liked it. We had a bunch of people over and used it for about a dozen pizzas. None looked as perfect as yours did, but that’s the way it goes…they were still great!

    11:13 pm  May 21st, 2007
  11. Stephanie

    A strawberry pizza–basically using pizza dough or sugar cookie dough as base. Toppings like strawberries, whipped cream or have seen the strawberry like syrup. I vaguely remember having this strawberry pizza some years ago but have seen it since. And now..I am so craving it. weird.

    11:26 pm  May 21st, 2007
  12. eliza

    those are very beautiful strawberries! we will have local strawberries in season next month, I can’t wait!

    11:27 pm  May 21st, 2007
  13. Ruby Berry

    My Aunt Louise makes strawberry pizza, lots of cream cheese, almonds, glaze and strawberries. And she uses real cream cheese, not the YUCKY non/low fat crap that tastes like 1st grade paste…
    I believe the crust has lots of butter!mmmmm

    http://www.dianasdesserts.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/recipes.recipeListing/filter/dianas/recipeID/453/Recipe.cfm

    12:18 am  May 22nd, 2007
  14. Curt

    Stephanie, we use a cream cheese base on top of a sugar cookie crust, then put the fruit on top… Cream cheese icing is to desserts what pork fat is to savory foods… It’s almost always good!

    4:12 pm  May 22nd, 2007
  15. Nicole

    Jason (macgyversrollofducttape): Yes, I suppose there is some kind of connection between vegetables and slenderness ;-)

    Sher: Good luck with the wildlife rehabilitation!

    Curt: Looking forward to your fruit pizza! Glad you liked the pizza crust…I’m thinking it’s about time for me to make some more pizzas…maybe on the grill this time!

    Steph: Sounds good! I made some strawberry pie the other night…regular pie crust and then the filling is lemon-flavored cream cheese topped with fresh strawberries and a fresh strawberry glaze. It’s sooooooo good! Justin and I devoured the whole thing in 2 days ;-)

    Eliza: I miss Oregon strawberries!

    Ruby: Cream cheese and strawberries …a wonderful combination! I just made fresh strawberry pie that sounds very similar!

    Curt (again): I agree…any dessert with cream cheese is a favorite of mine! :-)

    4:31 pm  May 22nd, 2007
  16. Susan from Food "Blogga"

    Thanks for the delicious berry recipes. I can never have enough of them. I’ve been eating fresh strawberries since January, and I’m still enjoying them each week. I love to pair them with seasonal ingredients as I go along, such as blood oranges back in March and rhubarb now. Yummy post!

    5:42 am  May 23rd, 2007
  17. Robin

    Thank you for so many strawberry recipes and resources!

    The last shortcake I made was a bit disappointing, so I’ll have to try yours soon!

    10:27 pm  May 24th, 2007
  18. Susan

    I had to make a dozen shortcakes for a party tonight. For some reason I had added cinnamon to the ingredients I wrote down. My mistake, but a happy one. The little pinch of spice was a nice surprise to the taste buds and a compliment to the berries. Everyone raved!

    2:32 am  May 25th, 2007
  19. Nicole

    Susan (Food “Blogga”): Mmmmm…blood oranges and strawberries…sounds good! There are still tons of blood oranges for sale around here although they’re definitely a little past their prime!

    Robin: You’re welcome! Hope you like the shortcake next time around!

    Susan: I’ve seen a few other people using cinnamon in their shortcakes lately…everyone raves about it so I’ll have to try it next time!

    9:52 am  May 25th, 2007
  20. Freya

    I love strawberry shortcake – I make it slightly different, with a shortbread biscuit sandwiching the strawberries and cream but this ‘scone’ type shortcake is simply stunning!

    6:40 pm  May 25th, 2007
  21. Kat

    I love all things strawberries – actually made a chilled berry soup tonight (inspired by the berry soup I ordered on vacation), that included strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, honey, a pinch of salt and buttermilk. So good!!!

    I envy your photos as well. Beautiful.

    4:01 am  May 26th, 2007
  22. jessica

    Mmm, I have caved again to the strawberry patch. I spent all my english lesson money there this week! so now i have a huge box left in the fridge and tired of the balsamic vinegar. this post is perfectly timed!

    7:58 am  May 27th, 2007
  23. Nicole

    Freya: Thanks! Your version sounds great too!

    Kat: Your soup sounds great…are you planning on posting the recipe?

    Jessica: Yum! Enjoy those strawberries! I need to go get some more :-)

    Everyone: Look for the update on the strawberry post above…just added a link for Lemon Cupcakes with Strawberry Center!

    10:15 am  May 27th, 2007
  24. Kristen

    How did I miss this post before? I love strawberries and I love all the recipes you posted!

    3:01 pm  May 29th, 2007
  25. Laurel

    Hi. I made the shortcakes this weekend and they were amazing. Strawberries always remind me of summer (even though it’s freezing in Colorado today).

    Hope you are well and so happy for you that your husband is home.

    12:09 am  May 30th, 2007
  26. Nicole

    Kristen: Glad you found it!

    Laurel: It’s great to hear that you tried the shortcakes! Freezing in Colorado? It’s been in the 80’s here! Time for the beach!

    Everyone: I just added one more strawberry recipe link under the update section. Strawberry Rhubard Crumble from Smitten Kitchen. Yum!!

    9:26 am  May 30th, 2007
  27. Nicole

    More updates! Check out the update section of the post to find inks for Strawberry Bruschetta and Strawberry Rhubarb Sponge Pudding!

    8:02 am  Jun 14th, 2007
  28. How To Eat A Cupcake 10:12 pm  Oct 8th, 2007
  29. Karina

    I just tagged the margarita recipe in my May Gluten-Free Recipe Rodeo. ;)

    2:31 pm  May 29th, 2008
  30. Tami-Lynn

    Tried your strawberry shortcake biscuit recipe lastnight and i think you got one ingredient wrong. You have list Baking soda where i think you might mean baking powder. I made these lastnight and had to toss them out as they tasted bitter from the B.Soda. It was then i realized that all other recipes i had ever tried had Baking powder , not soda.

    9:18 am  Jul 15th, 2008
  31. Rachel

    Oh yum! I am looking forward to trying out these biscuit recipes! My favorite way to do the strawberries is an inexact science, but involves slicing up about 1lb of fresh strawberries, sprinkling them with sugar & lemon juice and letting them macerate . . . and in the mean time, dumping a bag of frozen strawberries into a pot with some water and a bunch of sugar and boiling the heck out of it until it becomes somewhat thick & syrupy and the strawberries almost start to break apart. I spoon the syrupy strawberries onto the biscuit first, then the fresh berries and then a big pile of fresh whipped cream (and often, if I’m feeling extra naughty, a big ol’ scoop of organic vanilla ice cream–heaven).

    8:54 am  Mar 18th, 2009
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