I love strawberry season! It seems like such a small window  of opportunity every year in Ontario when these are available from local sources so I try to find as many things as I can to make with them – well, in addition to just eating them on their own.

One of my favourite strawberry deserts is, what I consider, a classic. Strawberry shortcakes. They take no time at all to whip together and taste amazing! They scream summer to me and can be adapted to use with any fresh fruit.

Strawberry Shortcakes
Makes 6

1½ lbs sliced strawberries
6 tbsp sugar
2 tablespoons creme de Cassis (optional – if using different fruit, substitute for a liqueur that suits it best or fruit juice)

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
½ tsp salt
2/3 cup cold buttermilk
1 large egg
8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

Whipped Cream:
1 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

To prepare the fruit, wash, hull and slice the strawberries. Combine sliced berries with the sugar and liqueur and let sit for a minimum of 30 minutes.

To make the biscuits, preheat the oven to 475˚ F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Whisk together the buttermilk and egg and then whisk in the melted butter.  Stir the mixture until the butter forms small clumps. If the butter is not cooled, it will not form clumps properly.  Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until a dough comes together and no dry ingredients remain.  Using a greased 1/3 cup measuring cup ( I use a canola oil spray), scoop a mound of dough and drop it onto the prepared baking sheet. Don’t smooth the dough into the cup, just scoop it into the cup and then onto the sheet. You want them to be irregular in shape and texture.  Repeat with the remaining dough spacing the biscuits about 2 inches apart.  Sprinkle extra sugar over the top of the biscuits.  Bake until the tops are golden brown, about 12 minutes.  Let cool slightly.

To prepare the whipped cream, combine the cream and the sugar into the metal bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a wire whisk. Whip on medium-high speed until it forms stiff peaks. Be careful to not over mix. Add the vanilla and mix until just combined.

Using a serrated knife, slice each biscuit in half. Spoon some of the strawberry mixture over the biscuit and top off with some whipped cream. Place the other half of the biscuit on top and serve.

Source: adapted from Annie’s Eats (adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, July/August 2008)