Summer Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere will be at 10:24PM TONIGHT!
If you're looking for some recipe inspiration, check out our blog TOMORROW for the best summer recipes we've found. You won't be disappointed.
It's no coincidence that all kinds of seasonal goodies are rolling in. (Psssst! We hear local peaches are just around the corner!) But, don't forget about all the melons, corn, cherries, strawberries, nectarines, sweet peppers and more. Think fruit salads, grilled you-name-it, and refreshing cocktails.
But, to tide you over for today, I'm offering up a tried and true southern staple -
Strawberry "Shortcake" using Buttermilk Biscuits
My Mother’s side of the family is from the South – specifically Memphis, TN and Tupelo, MS. Think Elvis Presley, the blues, red clay dirt, catfish, and church potlucks.
Summer desserts down there need to be refreshing and cool to take your mind off of the god-awful humidity. More often than not, we would simply cut up the strawberries, add a few tablespoons of sugar, and let them sit in the fridge overnight, so we could enjoy the cool snack with milk the next day; but, when we had the little extra time, a good southern buttermilk biscuit with cream was the real treat. I remember watching my Great Aunts Velma & Delphia (Delph) making these biscuits.
2 lbs fresh strawberries, hulled and halved (or quartered if large).
Local strawberries from farms like Cure Organic Farm is the way to go, but if you’re having a hard time finding them, the organic California strawberries have been amazing this year. Especially around Watsonville, Salinas and Santa Cruz, the berries are to-die-for. Choose smaller, dark red berries. They’ll have higher concentrated sugar, chocked full of flavor.
1/2 cup raw cane sugar + 2 tbsp
1 cup cold heavy whipping cream (I love using Morning Fresh Dairy’s cream from Bellvue, CO. It has a high fat content, and isn’t ultra-pasteurized. The flavor is thick and rich.)
1 tsp vanilla extract (or I've used maple extract too, just use a little less).
Combine strawberries and sugar in a large bowl. Put in fridge at least 1 hour up to overnight. Toss to coat with juice occasionally.
2 cups self rising flour
1/2 cup shortening or lard (my family always used Crisco. But now I know lard is the better option!)
1 cup buttermilk
Blend lard & flour until it resembles cornmeal.
Add buttermilk & blend. It needs to be a wet, sticky dough.
Turn out into well-floured countertop
With floured hands and flour on top of dough, pat dough to about 1 inch thick.
Cut out biscuits with floured cutter (we use a floured plastic or glass cup).
Lay biscuits on an ungreased pan with biscuit edges touching.
Bake in preheated 425 oven for 20-25 min.
Beat chilled heavy whipping cream, vanilla, and last 2 tablespoons sugar in another bowl until still peaks form. This is also easy to make ahead of time – up to 6 hours ahead.
Cut biscuits in half and place each bottom in its own little bowl. Top each with berries and whipped cream. Cover with the biscuit top. I also drizzle a little more cream (not whipped) on top. Some people will dust powdered sugar and/or cinnamon. Serve and enjoy!!