Monday, April 8, 2013

Strawberry Shortcake!

I must be coming down with a bad case of spring fever. The first symptom is a craving for strawberry shortcake, months before strawberries are in season.

It all starts with an innocent trip to the grocery store...and there...right in the produce starts.

Oh, they're so beautiful! (I say)

But it's too early... (my pragmatic self tries a counter argument: reality)

I just want to smell them!

They're way too expensive... (my frugal self goes for the throat)

Look! They're on sale!

They're probably spoiled... (my pragmatic self tries again)

No! Look! They're beautiful! sniff...sniff... I can smell them through the plastic!

Every time you buy those, you're disappointed in how bland they taste... (that's the Mom me...I should learn to listen to her)

(But then I lay down the final blow...) I could make SHORTCAKE!!!!

.....and the strawberries jump into the cart!

And now I get to make shortcake :)

My shortcake recipe came from my grandmother...but was never written down. You know the kind of recipe I mean: "Start with biscuit dough, put it in a pie plate, add sugar."

That's the way I always made shortcake, thinking Grandma's recipe was unique and wonderful.

Then I got married, and for Christmas that year my mother-in-law copied some family recipes for me. Imagine my surprise when I saw her mother's shortcake recipe!

It was almost exactly the one I had always used!

That's when I knew I had married into the right family - that, and the fact my mother-in-law loves chocolate as much as I do.

Maybe more.

And she raised at least one wonderful son (I only married one of them, so I can't vouch for the other three!)

Over the years I've taken Grandma Crumrine's recipe and Grandma Ebenhoeh's recipe, combined them, added a few touches of my own...and we have the perfect shortcake.

Strawberry Shortcake

2 cups flour (either all-purpose or 1/2 all-purpose, 1/2 whole wheat)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup sugar (you can substitute other sweeteners, or leave it out)
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, plus 1 Tablespoon butter (save for later)
2/3 cup milk

Preheat your oven to 325°.

Stir together the dry ingredients, then cut in the 1/2 cup butter (just like you're making biscuits) until the dough is crumbly. Stir in the milk.

Grease a 9" pie plate (or you can use a similar sized baking dish) and put in the dough. Pat the dough into the edges of the pan, and then dot the top with the 1 Tablespoon butter.

Last of all, sprinkle the top with 2 Tablespoons sugar or 1 teaspoon stevia or other natural sweetener - yes, Virginia, I'm thinking of you :)

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the edges start browning and the center is done (I use the spring test - touch the center lightly. If it springs back, it's done.)

Now comes the best part.

While the shortcake is still warm, cut it into six or eight slices. Split the slice in half and layer quartered strawberries between the halves, replace the top, and then spoon more strawberries over the top.

What's that, you say? Whipped cream? Ice cream? No way!

You take a couple tablespoons of heavy cream (aka whipping cream) and pour it over the top, just like your farming grandparents used to do.


Or, at least it would be if this was June and the strawberries had some flavor.... I need to learn to listen to the Mom me.

Jan Drexler loves her family, her home, cooking and just about anything made by hand. But she loves her Lord most of all.

Stop by Jan's website to learn more about her books:


  1. Oh Jan, it's a good thing I have to go back to work today. I ate entirely too much on this week off and if I was home today, I would so be trekking to the market to get some strawberries and cream.

    I'm going to listen to your mom voice instead and wait for the local sweet ones in June. Summer dreaming.

    Have a great Monday.

  2. Mary Curry, yes, yes, yes, concur. All Easter candy must be put in freezer. My time for salad has arriveth!!!!

    Although... we got great strawberries at Sam's Club this week, and last week at Tops Markets. And Driscolls are usually good, but did you know there are viruses and funguses (unseen) that rob fruit of sugar?

    You end up with gorgeous fruit but the sugar content (therefore flavor) isn't there. And you don't know it until you eat them.

    Isn't that weird? Now if we could just come up with the human equiv. in a DIET PILL that eats up my sugar intake and takes it off my hips! :)

    I must admit that one day of warmth yesterday has me craving the same way, Jan! Great thoughts, but I.... um.... will still whip my cream. I love airy whipped cream.

    And what's that big mixer for? I seriously think we could end up with a Mixer Coup and possible Hostile Takeover by Kitchen Aid, Bosch and Sunbeam (come on, you've SEEN EDNA WHEN SHE'S ANGRY!!!!) .... I'll keep whipping up here, just to take the edge of their country-wide "mad".

    You're welcome. ;)

  3. In Ruthy speak: Oh. My. Stars.

    This looks amazing. And I splurged on strawberries recently. I don't think anyone has eaten any yet! Tonight is looking like a good dessert night. As long as the berries are still in the fridge...

    Will let you know how that goes!

  4. BTW, I always smell the berries before I'll buy! They have to smell yummy. Maybe, Ruthy, that will help prevent buying low sugar ones!

  5. I've always used a store-bought angel food cake or a flan to make my strawberry 'shortcake' but now that I have your recipe I'm going to make it from scratch next time. I agree with you about the off-season strawberries -- they must have to pick them way before they are ripe to haul them up here or they'd spoil before they arrive. I just made some strawberry sauce for sundaes yesterday from frozen strawberries and I bet that would be better for off season strawberry shortcake. And of course I would add the whipped cream. Duh! :-)

    1. Kav, angel food cake is good. I do that often. But there's nothing better than a homemade shortbread in my opinion!

      BTW, my hubby got out the strawberries when he came home for lunch! I nearly pounced and took them away from him. But alas, I let him eat his healthy lunch. Bummer! Maybe I can make it anyway and eat some plain. Or run to the store to get more berries. :) Yeah, I like that idea.

  6. Hi everybody,

    I'm at McDonalds, using their wi-fi and checking in while my mother-in-law enjoys her afternoon coffee.

    I have to admit, looking at these pictures, I'm ready to make another batch of shortcake. You do know this is tasty even without the strawberries, right?

    Just heard today that we will be getting a corgi puppy in May! The litter was born the Saturday before Easter, so they're nearly the same age as Ruthy's Doodles. The breeder waited to contact me until she had contacted the people on the waiting list ahead of us.

    Have a good week! I'll check in again later if I find wi-fi again :)

  7. KUYhbaou' lk/nbKAa:JF/nxc

    Yep, that's me wiping drool off of the keyboard again. This looks like one FINE strawberry shortcake. Mmmm....

    I am SO in trouble.