Normally on this blog, I create my own recipes out of thin air, or modify a recipe so much that it’s definitely my own, but on Sunday, we had some very impromptu company, and I needed some dessert in a hurry! I had some heavy cream left over from the Chai Ice Cream with Shortbread Cookies (recipe coming soon) that I’d made a few days earlier, and I had some fresh berries in my fridge, so strawberry shortcake seemed like an easy idea. I did a bit of googling, and an easy looking recipe from Alton Brown came up.
Our friends Ben and Emily came to visit after spending a weekend at a farm sanctuary upstate, and we had a lovely BBQ of grilled vegetables & tempeh and macaroni salad. They told us about the nice animals they met and about how relaxing their weekend was, and Emily and I talked about how we wanted to learn how to can things.
When it was time for dessert, I threw the heavy cream in my stand mixer with a tiny bit of sugar and some vanilla, though it got a little flat because we waited a several minutes to serve it – Charlie was introducing Ben and Emily to our “pet worms” that eat our veggie scraps (read: our vermicompost). We’re very excitable about these things.
Anyway, it was delicious nonetheless, and Alton’s recipe (baked in a less hot oven, with maple sugar instead of coarse sugar) turned out awesome, and it’s made out of ingredients that most people keep in the house, so it’s great for short notice situations. I’ll definitely use it again.
(And if you’re wondering where to get maple sugar, this is where I got mine while we were visiting friends in the area, and it’s delicious. You can also get it in bulk at some co-ops, but this is a pretty great price, and they’ll ship it to you, but they were very nice and in a very scenic little area if you’re ever nearby!)
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons shortening
3/4 cup half and half (I used a combination of milk and heavy cream here, since I didn’t have half and half – just wing it!)
Melted butter to brush shortcakes
Maple sugar for topping (you can use a coarse sugar if you don’t have this)
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut in butter and shortening. Mix in half-and-half. Drop by large spoonfuls onto a baking sheet. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with maple sugar. Bake for 15 minutes or until brown.
Cool and eat with berries and whipped cream.