I ♥ the 4th of July. I’ve only lived in the U.S. for about 4 years now, so the holiday is still all shiny and new for me. First of all, it’s summer. Second, people cook a ton of really good food and everybody wants to feed it to you wherever you go. And third, it’s legal to set off exploding objects that make fire in the sky and loud noises… in your own yard! What’s not to love?
Every 4th I try to blend in with the natives and make a dessert that’s red, white and blue. I know, I know, it’s totally kitchy but I just can’t help myself! This year a recipe for strawberry shortcakes on Smitten Kitchen caught my eye. So in the spirit of the holiday, I had to make it bigger, badder and red, white and bluer. No, this is not just because I wanted an excuse to have ice cream and strawberries. Honest.
Ice Cream and fresh berries. I could live on that. Well, maybe with some bread and cheese….oh and a good bottle of wine.
You can whip up the cream in advance and keep it in the refrigerator. Or you can head to the frozen whipped cream section of your grocery store and pick up a tub. I won’t tell.
I shaped the shortcakes in to triangles, but you can also use a cookie cutter or eyeball six equal portions and form them into biscuit shapes.
I used light brown sugar on the shorcakes and also in the strawberries for a different flavor. You can use regular granulated sugar if you like. This smells REALLY good in the oven, by the way.
Red, White and Blueberry Shortcakes
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
31/2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
2 hard-boiled egg yolks
1/8 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup heavy cream plus 1 tbsp to brush the tops of the shortcakes
1 tbsp light brown sugar
3 cups strawberries, washed and quartered
1 cup blueberries, washed
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 ½ cups heavy cream
2 tbsp sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
About 1 ½ cups french vanilla ice cream
Mix the strawberries with the sugar and light brown sugar in bowl. Cover and refrigerate for half an hour. Stir mixture and refrigerate for another half hour, or until the strawberries have softened and released their juices. Wash the blueberries and set them aside.
The Whipped Cream
Beat the cream, sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer until soft peaks form. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 350. In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, baking powder, egg yolks, and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal with some larger bits of butter. Add the cream and pulse until the dough just starts to form large clumps. Don’t over mix the dough.
On a floured work surface, form the dough into a ball shape and then flatten out into a rough disc with your hands. Using a knife or a pizza cutter, divide the dough into six equal sized triangles. Place triangles onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the shortcakes with the reserved tablespoon of cream, and then sprinkle lightly with the brown sugar. If the dough has gotten too warm at this point, you can chill the shortcakes in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Transfer to a rack and let the shortcakes cool completely (at least 20 minutes). While the shortcakes are cooling, take the ice cream out of the freezer and let it sit at room temperature to soften up a bit.
Using a serrated knife, slice the triangles in half horizontally. Spoon some of the liquid the strawberries released over the bottom piece. Carefully spread a large scoop of ice cream over the bottom piece of shortcake. Top with strawberries, blueberries and a generous dollop of whipped cream. Place the other half of the shortcake on top.
Serve immediately (or hide in the basement and eat them all yourself).