Strawberry shortcake never tasted so good -- or so nuanced. Heavy cream is steeped with basil then whipped, infusing it with its essence. Cover the cream with plastic wrap while it steeps to ensure that the basil flavor doesn't evaporate.

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Bring 1 1/2 cups cream to a gentle simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bruise large basil leaves by hitting repeatedly with the dull side of a knife, and stir into cream. Remove from heat, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let steep for 25 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing solids to extract liquid. Refrigerate until very cold, at least 5 hours.

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  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together flour, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, the baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers. (The largest pieces should be the size of small peas.)

  • Whisk together 3/4 cup heavy cream, the eggs, and vanilla. Stir into flour using a fork until ingredients are moistened but not fully incorporated. (Do not overmix.)

  • Turn dough out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and pat into a 9 1/2-inch circle. Brush dough with remaining 2 tablespoons heavy cream, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar.

  • Bake until light golden brown and just cooked through, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely, about 2 hours.

  • Meanwhile, macerate strawberries with remaining 1/4 cup sugar, plus more if needed, depending on sweetness, stirring occasionally, for at least 1 hour.

  • Toss berries with small basil leaves. Whisk basil cream with confectioners' sugar in the chilled bowl of a mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Mound basil cream on shortcake. Spoon berries with juice over top.

Reviews (1)

18 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 8
  • 4 star values: 5
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 3
Rating: 5 stars
04/19/2013
This was so ridiculously good. I'm not usually a huge fan of whipped cream on desserts--it just doesn't do enough for me to justify the calories and fat. This basil cream was incredible, though--I ended up scraping the rest of it off the leftover shortcake when our guests left and just eating it and the strawberries with a spoon. Very easy, amazingly delicious--I definitely recommend it!!!