Ginger Shortcakes with Local Strawberries and Lemon Cream
This recipe for the shortcake is very loosely based on one from James Peterson’s wonderful new book, Baking.
The Ginger Shortcakes:
- 2 cups flour, plus 2 tablespoons for the glaze
- ⅓ cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for the glaze
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger, plus 1/8 teaspoon for the glaze
- 1 stick butter, cut into 8 pieces
- 1 egg
- ¾ cup buttermilk, well shaken
- 1 quart ripe local strawberries, hull removed
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons very thinly sliced crystallized ginger, optional
The Whipped Cream:
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Make the shortcakes:
In a large bowl sift the flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking soda, salt, and ½ teaspoon of the ginger. Add the butter and using your hands, or a pastry cutter, lightly incorporate the butter into the flour mixture until the butter resembles coarse cornmeal.
In a small bowl whisk the egg with the buttermilk. Pour the buttermilk mixture on top of the flour mixture and stir well to incorporate.
Flour a work surface and place the dough on top. Very gently knead the dough and form it into a flattened-out mound. Using your hands or a rolling pin, roll out the dough so it’s ¾-inch thick—you don’t want it any thinner or the shortcakes won’t have enough thickness and will cook too quickly. Use a 3-inch glass or biscuit cutter to cut out 8 shortcakes. Place the shortcakes on a cookie sheet with a silicon mat or a piece of parchment paper.
Place the remaining 2 tablespoons buttermilk in a small bowl and place the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and the 1/8 teaspoon of ginger in another small bowl.
Bake on the middle shelf for 10 minutes. Remove and lightly brush the top of each shortcake with the buttermilk and sprinkle with the sugar mixture. Bake another 10 to 14 minutes, or until the shortcakes turn a pale golden brown and the edges are just starting to turn brown. Remove and cool.
Meanwhile, place the strawberries in a bowl and sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons of sugar.
Let sit for at least an hour or until serving.
Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and whip until the cream holds its shape.
To serve: use a serrated knife the cut the shortcakes in half horizontally. Place ⅛ of the strawberry mixture on the bottom half of the shortcake and top with a generous dollop of cream. Top with the other half; repeat with the remaining shortcakes, berries, and cream. Makes 8 shortcakes.
From the blog and soon-to-be-book Notes From a Maine Kitchen by Kathy Gunst