Well, it’s officially arrived…..strawberry season.
Doesn’t matter where you turn, there is no escape. You can try to run or maybe even hide, but eventually, as they always do, they will find you. They will creep out of their darken spots behind the cantaloupes, lurking deep in the shadows until suddenly they will be in your basket, on their way to your house, and into your refrigerator!!!
Dun Dun DUNNNNNNNNN!
Okay yes I know, a bit on the dramatic side, but in all fairness, when the strawberries arrive, they roll out the red carpet as they become the centerpiece for all the summer holidays. They are everywhere, waiting to be picked or bought then taken home, washed and gobbled up with all their sweet juicy goodness.
Now I’m not by any means a strawberry hater; I love the berries just like anyone else, but you know sometimes the other berries don’t get their fair share of game time due to “Red” always being center stage. I mean c’mon, all you see if strawberry this and strawberry that…. WHERE’S THE LOVE FOR THE BANANA FOR GOSH SAKES!!!!
Sorry, minor tangent…..ummmmm okay back on track, so strawberries, yeah, they are so juicy and delicious right so I of course had to get in the kitchen and whip out one of my many “Need to Try” recipes and work some magic.
What could be better to start off summer than Strawberry Cornmeal Shortcakes?
Here in Southern California, we have a lovely restaurant called Lucille’s Smokehouse which serves Louisiana BBQ. Though all of their food is to die for, the most sought after item would have to be the cornmeal biscuits that are served at the beginning of every meal.
No seriously, if you have a chance, you have to try them, especially with the apple butter…OH….MY….GOSH!!!
Any who, I set out to make regular strawberry shortcakes for my husband and thought how much tastier the dessert would be with cornmeal shortcakes versus the traditional kind. Light and fluffy gets an upgrade to sweet and nutty. Sounds good right?
Strawberry Cornmeal Shortcakes
Prep Time: 45 min
Cook Time: Roughly 15 min
2 lbs (5 cups) strawberries thinly sliced
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal*
1/4 cup granulated sugar (plus 1 tbsp for topping)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup buttermilk, chilled
1 large egg
8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
4 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Gently wash the strawberries and pat them dry before slicing them into thin slices. Place into a medium-sized bowl and gently toss with the remaining ingredients. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour. Taste the strawberry mixture and add additional sugar for desired sweetness level.
2. Place the 8 tbsp of unsalted butter into a small dish inside the microwave for 1 min until fully melted. Set to the side to cool.
3. Preheat the oven to 425 and place the baking racks in the center position. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and set to the side.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and egg until they combined; add melted butter and stir until butter forms clumps.
5. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and stir until fully combined. Lightly spray a 1/3 dry measuring cup with vegetable oil spray. Scoop 8 equal portions onto the tray/trays and stagger them apart, making sure they are level. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 1 tbsp sugar.
6. Bake for roughly 14 minutes or until they are golden brown. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
7. While the shortcakes cool, place the heavy cream, 4 tsp sugar, and 1 tsp in a medium-sized bowl. Using an electric mixer (or stand mixer) whisk on medium speed until mixture forms stiff peaks.
8. To serve: split shortcake in half horizontally. Place bottom portion on plate and spoon roughly 1/2 cup of strawberry mixture onto the cake, followed by roughly 1/3 cup whipped cream and topped with the other shortcake. Enjoy!
*Original recipe this was adapted from called for stone-ground cornmeal. With this kind of cornmeal, the texture is coarser and the meal usually has a more noticeable “corn” flavor. I used a regular cornmeal that has a finer texture as they are interchangeably used more often than not and is less expensive
Recipe adapted from Erika Bruce in Cook’s Country Issue April/May 2017
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