Growing up, my dad would always answer the phone: "Duffy's Tavern, where the elite meet and eat!" Then he would proceed to ask the caller (no matter who it was) if they wanted to come over for some strawberry shortcake. Well, we would rarely actually have strawberry shortcake... but for some reason, my dad thought his little joke was so funny. I did NOT think it was very funny when there was a boy on the phone for me.... And guests probably did not think it was very funny when he would offer it to them and there wasn't any. My mom would save the day because she always had some sort of homemade dessert in the kitchen; a cobbler or maybe a fresh batch of fried pies so nobody was ever terribly disappointed. Strawberry Shortcake was always saved for special occasions and my dad STILL loves it,,, and now I love it when he asks people that crazy question. (That's me with my sweet dad.)
A few years ago, I worked with Driscoll's Berries on a National Strawberry Shortcake Day promotion... their shortcake recipe was so good, I don't see the need to change it.
STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE WITH ORANGE WHIPPED CREAM
(Shortcake recipe courtesy of Driscoll's Berries)
Makes 8-12 servings
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup low fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
Strawberries and Orange Scented Whipped Cream:
2 (16-ounce) packages Driscoll’s strawberries, divided
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups cold whipping cream or heavy cream
1/2 cup Confectioners sugar
`1 teaspoon grated fresh orange zest
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier orange liqueur (optional but very delicious)
For the shortcake: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan.
Combine the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a separate bowl combine the buttermilk and vanilla extract and stir into the flour mixture until just moistened. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead 4-5 times with floured hands. Pat dough into an 8-inch circle and transfer to the prepared cake pan. Gently press down on the dough until it fills the bottom of the pan and the center has a slight depression. Brush the top with the yolk and sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.
Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 21-23 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove shortcake from the pan and cool completely on wire rack, about 30 minutes.
For the strawberry filling: From 1 package set aside 11 berries with a stem on, remove the stems and halve the remaining strawberries then toss with 1 tablespoon sugar in a bowl. Remove the stems from the strawberries in the remaining package and leave whole.
For the Orange Scented Whipping Cream: Combine the heavy cream, Confectioners sugar, orange juice, vanilla, and orange liqueur, and orange zest in a bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer on high to stiff peaks.
To assemble: Carefully split shortcake in half horizontally using a serrated knife. Place the bottom half of the shortcake, cut side up, on a cake plate and spread with 1 1/2 cups whipped cream. Arrange stemmed whole strawberries around the edge of the shortcake with the points facing in the same direction in a slightly overlapping layer. Spoon the halved strawberries into the center of the shortcake. Spread 1 cup whipped cream over strawberries and place top of shortcake; cut side down, on top. With the remaining whipped cream make 8 evenly spaced dollops around the edge of the top of the short cake and one slightly larger one in the center. Rest one untrimmed berry, with the point facing in the opposite direction the first layer, on each dollop around the edge and the 3 remaining on the center dollop. Serve or refrigerate until ready to serve.