This is one of my favorite summer treats. I am truly a traditionalist when it comes to shortcake, I do enjoy all versions but the traditional biscuit is my favorite. The buttery scone-like qualities crammed full of berries just make my mouth water. The one place I veer from tradition is the berries. I love to drizzle balsamic vinegar on the sliced strawberries.
2 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 large egg, beaten
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1/2 cup half and half
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1 baking sheet, lined with parchment paper
2 1/2 – inch round cutter
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups sliced strawberries
3 tablespoons. sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
Mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a bowl. Cut in the butter into the dry ingredients. Whisk the egg into the half and half, and pour into the flour mixture a little at a time, using a fork to mix. Add in the lemon zest
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll gently to thickness of about 3/4 inch. Take your cutter and dip into flour and cut as many rounds as you can. Work the scraps back into a dough, re-roll and finish cutting. I usually can get 8-10 in all. Place the shortcakes about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. brush the tops with egg white, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. You can prep these ahead, you can cover and refrigerate them for up to 2 hours.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown. Meanwhile, slice strawberries, mix in sugar and balsamic vinegar. Set aside. Whip together the whipping cream, sugar and vanilla extract until it creates heavy peaks.
The shortcakes are best when eaten while still warm, split each one across the middle using a siratted knife. Cover with a spoonful of the strawberry mixture and then dollop some whipped cream on top, and set the top back on.