In late June when I was a kid, we’d drive to a local farm and “help” my mom to pick strawberries. This usually involved a bit more whining and sampling than picking, but by the end of the sticky-hot morning, somehow (thanks, Mom!) we’d have quarts of berries. I think some of them ended up in the freezer, but that first night a bunch of them ended up in strawberry shortcake for dinner.
I always think of strawberry shortcakes on the Fourth of July, too, as our berries ripen just in time for Independence Day treats. This year was no exception, and I pulled out the Fannie Farmer cookbook for my favorite shortcake recipe. Topped with fresh sliced berries and a dollop of whipped cream (or a scoop of ice cream if you prefer), they’re the perfect way to welcome July.
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1 stick butter, cold
- 1 egg, well-beaten
- 1/3 cup milk
Preheat oven to 425°.
Combine flour, salt, baking powder, cream of tartar, and sugar in a bowl with a fork until mixed. Slice the butter and add to the flour mixture, mixing with a pastry blender or fingertips until the mixture looks like bread crumbs. In a separate bowl, beat the egg into the milk and add to the flour all at once, stirring with a fork until the mixture holds together.
Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead 12-14 times. Pat into a rectangle 1/2″ thick, then cut the dough with a 2″ cookie or biscuit cutter. Place biscuits into ungreased cake pans or on a baking sheet, just touching. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned (mine took just about 15 minutes). Allow to cool, then top with fruit and whipped cream or ice cream and enjoy!
Of course July’s lip balm Flavor of the Month could only be Strawberry Shortcake. We’ve picked the best sun-ripened berries to top a bowlful of buttery cake. (And we’d never forget the whipped cream.)
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Do you like strawberry shortcake as much as I do?