Strawberry Shortcake with Vanilla Whipped Cream
Handle the shortcake dough as little as possible for light, fluffy biscuits.
- 2 pints strawberries, hulled and halved
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dough
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 vanilla bean, split
- 1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place strawberries in a bowl; sprinkle with lemon juice and 1/4 cup sugar. Let stand to release juices, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Use a fork to cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Whisk together egg and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cream. Slowly add mixture to dry ingredients; mix with a fork until dough just comes together. Do not overmix. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface; pat into a 6-inch square, 1 inch thick. Cut four rounds using a 2 1/2-inch cookie cutter. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Whisk together egg yolk and 1 tablespoon cream; brush over tops of biscuits. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on wire racks for 15 minutes.
To make vanilla whipped cream, place remaining 1 cup cream and vanilla bean in a saucepan over medium heat; scald, and remove from heat. Cover, and steep for 10 minutes. Scrape seeds into cream, and discard pod. Pass cream mixture through a fine strainer into a bowl set in a large bowl of ice and water. Let stand until completely cold. Transfer to a large chilled metal bowl; add confectioners' sugar. Whip by hand into soft peaks (an electric mixer can curdle the cream), about 5 minutes.
To assemble, slice the shortcakes open while warm with a bread knife. Divide strawberries and liquid among bottom halves of shortcakes; top with large dollops of vanilla whipped cream and upper halves of shortcakes, and serve.