Monday, May 9, 2016

Strawberry Shortcake: a delightful rerun recipe

Things are hopping like mad at our house these days.

First of all, there's this:

Photo credit: Magnified Photography
The wedding is just over a month away. Four more Saturdays. (But who's counting?)

And then there's this:

"Naomi's Hope," the third book in the trilogy, is due on my editor's desk in three weeks.

(You know, when I signed that contract two years ago and saw that "June 1, 2016" due date for the third book, that day seemed so far away.... But now it's just around the corner!)

And Mattie's Pledge (releasing in September and available for preorder here!) is getting to the end of the editing process. So much fun!

Throw a few other non-writing related events into the mix, and you've got crazy demands on my time and energy.

Which means no cooking. Convenience foods. Fire up the grill for hamburgers again (by the way - no one complains when I do that!).

So for the next couple weeks, I'll be sharing rerun posts. Call it "revisiting my favorite recipes" or "a trip down memory lane." Come on along - it will be fun!

We'll start out with this post from three years ago. Enjoy!

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. DEEELISH!!! I want whipped cream on mine. What an adorable couple!!

    1. Just reading this post again makes me hungry! I love the shortcake plain, too.

      And yes, they are a cute couple. It is so much fun watching them grow toward each other during their engagement.

  2. Such an exciting time! And two years ago when you signed that contract you had no clue that book three's deadline would parallel a wedding deadline! Great picture of the happy the snow!!!! Brrr...hope we're through with that stuff for a few months anyway.

    I've been craving strawberries. A bit too early up here yet but close enough that I'll wait until the fresh picked are available. My market opens up this weekend. Soooooooooooo excited for that!!!! Strawberries will follow shortly. Woot!

    1. I think we might be done with snow - but there's no guarantee. We've had measurable snow in our area every month of the year except August. This week it's rainy and cool, with highs in the mid-60's, but that is perfect weather to keep us from having a bone-dry summer. :)

      And a June wedding works just fine for me. I have a week between the book's deadline and when people start arriving in town for our "destination" wedding!

      Just think - - they could have chosen May!!!!

  3. You know, a little more sugar and they'll be just fine, Jan, LOL! The shipping berries never have the high sugar content of homegrown because they'll rot before they make it to the store... so they're specially cultivated to look great, and ship well, which means redding up before they're ripe... and the problem with them is that as soon as you open the container, the blights and viruses on them start to happy dance... Soft fruits are not meant to be shippers, not and taste like homegrown, but... with sugar and chocolate, we can prevail!

    We had them on sale too, and the big, firm ones are perfect for dipped berries. For $4.50 I had 2 dozen chocolate dipped PERFECT looking berries for Mother's Day.

    What would that be from Shari's Berries???



    Oh my stars.

    And I used Ghirardelli chocolate and it was to die for, so I totally understand your cravings!!!!

    I'm going to help the Sisters of St. Joseph make strawberry rhubarb jam this year for their November fundraiser sale... And with my rhubarb! I did a talk at the motherhouse this week and it was so much fun, so of course I offered to INVADE THEIR KITCHEN!!!! Sr. Maria can't make her kuchen any more, or the jam, so I told her help was on hand...

    Gotta love bossy women in the kitchen, right, even the sisters!!!!

    Jan, with the wedding coming, this is so exciting! And I loved, loved, loved Hannah's Choice... what a beautiful story you crafted, my friend! Good for you!

    Okay, I'm editing now, badly needed edits, so I'm jumping out of the kitchen, wishing for strawberry shortcake, and waving goodbye!

    WEDDINGS!!!!! SO FUN!!!!

    1. Yes, the strawberries can be sweetened up just fine, especially when you're using them over shortcake like this. I slice them, add some sugar and water (just a bit!), stir, and stick them in the fridge for a few hours. They make their own syrup and are oh-so-good!

      I'm so glad you enjoyed Hannah's Choice. I finished "More Than a Promise" a couple nights ago. Oh yes, definitely one of your finest. Even though I'm not Catholic, I've been enjoying your books from Franciscan Media.*sigh*...sweet. But like those early strawberries, the sweetness is born out of a bit of adversity. :)

      AND WEDDINGS!!!!

  4. And they are the cutest couple!!!!!!

    1. You should see them in person. We have friends who like to sit behind them in church just to watch the cuteness. You know - hand holding, her head resting on his shoulder for just the barest minute, shoulders rubbing, etc.

      They both waited a long time to meet the perfect one, and they are enjoying it to the max. :)

  5. What a cute, cute photo!!

    I've been on a strawberry shortcake streak lately, so this is perfect timing! I bought an angel food cake to go with mine this weekend. But I love shortbread the best. I'll have to try this!

    1. I won't tell you how many times I've made this shortcake when there hasn't been a strawberry in sight!

  6. Oh, I was craving strawberry shortcake last week. I didn't have time to make shortcake, but now that I have your recipe, that may change. :)

    I did cave and buy blueberries from Florida today. We'll have to see how that tastes.

    Of course I also bought Talenti's Key Lime Gelato because it was on sale and I needed to know what the flavor would taste like.

  7. Oh. My . WORD. That looks scrumptious!! I think I'll make this Wednesday (not tomorrow, we have state testing about an hour away from our town, long day). Congrats on getting to the end of book three, and the wedding!!