strawberries + june

my parents live about seven hours away, six if my husband is driving, in london. visits are few and far between, but phone calls frequent. (i really wish my parents knew how to skype).

luckily, i get along pretty well with my in-laws. i’ve become their go-to person for both crafting and baking, and though the former occasionally means a last minute costume design, i don’t mind.

from march until june, i am responsible (partly because i’m type-A with my baking) for no fewer than five birthday cakes. my mother-in-law and my husband were debating who would bake my birthday cake next week. when andrew mentioned this to me, i rolled my eyes in a “silly husband, i will make my own cake” sort of way. like i said, type-A. or, selfish, if you want to see it that way.

i also panic when i find out that we are going to a friend’s for dinner and don’t have something to bring. this recipe is one of my favourites, for that reason.

of course, there’s also mother’s day and father’s day to contend with between may and june. even if the rules are less strict than with birthdays, i still like to make dessert.

two days out from father’s day, we aren’t sure if we’ll be having a BBQ or not: my mother-in-law didn’t put the cover on the BBQ, which has resulted in a small amount of sadness, particularly for those of us who have an affinity for charcoal.

but, there will be strawberries. and other berries. and shortcake. mostly, because that’s what june calls for.

strawberry-and-other-berry shortcake
adapted from rachel

for the berries
wash your berries
slice your berries, if they require slicing
sprinkle with a bit of lemon zest and sugar (about 1 1/2 tsp. sugar for
1 cup of berries works well)

for the shortcakes
2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, cold and cubed
2 eggs
1/2 cup light cream (10% or less)
1 tsp vanilla extract (this would be really good with almond extract too)

combine dry ingredients in a stand mixer or food processor or with your hands. add in the cubes of butter and pulse about ten times. the mixture should be crumbly and course.

whisk together the eggs, cream and vanilla and pour into the food processor, stand mixer or bowl. it should come together like any batch of scones or biscuits, quickly and smoothly. don’t overmix.

turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a rectangle. fold in thirds lengthwise, turn one quarter turn and repeat once more. the folding gives the shortcakes layers.

roll the dough out into a piece about 1/2 inch thick. cut out your biscuits. bake at 425F for 10 minutes, or until golden brown on the tops.

top with whipped cream or ice cream and berries.

image smitten kitchen

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