Sunday, April 17, 2011

Strawberry Shortcake With Basil

Recipe from Martha Stewart Living Magazine April 2011

Active Time 30 Min.
Total Time 8 hrs. 40 min.
Serves 8 (if you're lucky...)

2 1/4 cups cold heavy cream, plus 2 tablespoons, for brushing

20 large basil leaves, plus 1/3 cup small or torn basil leaves

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar plus more if needed

1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder


2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

4 /1/2 cups sliced strawberries (1 lb 4 oz.)

3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

1.  Bring 1 1/2 cups cream to a gentle simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Bruise large basil leaves by hitting repeatedly with the dull side of a knife, and stir into cream.  Remove from heat, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let steep for 25 minutes.  Strain through a fine sieve, pressing solids to extract liquid.  Refrigerate until very cold, at least 5 hours. 

2.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Whisk together flour, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, the baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt.  Cut in butter with pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers.  (the largest pieces should be the size of small peas.)

3.  Whisk together 3/4 cup heavy cream, the eggs, and vanilla.  Stir into flour using a fork until ingredients are moistened but not fully incorporated.  (Do not overmix.)

4.  Turn dough out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and pat into a 9 1/2 inch circle.  Brush dough with remaining 2 tablespoons heavy cream, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. 

5.  Bake until light golden brown and just cooked through, about 25 minutes.  Let cool completely about 2 hours. 

6.  Meanwhile, macerate strawberries with remaining 1/ 4 cup sugar, plus more if needed, depending on sweetness, stirring occasionally, for at least 1 hour.

7.  Toss berries with small basil leaves.  Whisk basil cream with confectioners' sugar in the chilled bowl of a mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.  Mound basil cream on shortcake.  Spoon berries with juice over top. 

Make Ahead Shortcake is best served within 4 hours of baking but can be stored untopped at room temperature for up to 8 hours.  Basil cream can be refrigerated for up to 1 day.  Whip just before using.  Berries can macerate for up to 3 hours.
 Have you ever combined both strawberries and basil before?  Maybe you have, but certainly not me (and definitely not in the same bite).  At first, I was a little skeptical about how the two, very different flavors would taste together.  Sweet and savory, the combination of the two flavors was harmonious. Once the spoon hit my mouth, I was convinced that this would be my newest favorite dessert (I say newest favorite because we still have the rest of the year,lol).  Every single bite was so good!  Strawberry shortcake is my favorite dessert- so I'm a little biased.

Strawberry Shortcake herself would give this dessert two thumbs up!

Photo Gallery
 The fresh strawberries are getting ready to play.
Mimiccreme...dairy free cream substitute.  I ended up adding heavy cream anyway because the Mimiccreme just wasn't thickening up.  Maybe I needed to shake it more before using? 
Hulling the berries
The hulled berries.  Notice how much berry you end up saving by hulling them.
 It hasn't been hot enough to bring out the natural sugars in the strawberries.  Sarah's face says it all, doesn't it?
This is my Strawberry Shortcake hat :)
Here is the it tastes great!  Whole Foods carries this product.  
Mixing the dry ingredients.
The pastry blender.
After cooking, you may notice that the edges burn slightly.  No worries, just trim off with a knife.
The macerated strawberries.
The macerated strawberries with basil.
The mimiccreme and heavy cream whipped cream.
Gabriel gave it a double thumbs up.
The strawberry shortcake with basil on a Sunday morning...perfect.
Sarah and her daddy are enjoying the dessert together.
So good that he's savoring every bite.
Afterward we headed outdoors for some fun in the sun.

~Just Dessert~


Anonymous said...

You know, I love these short food blogs of yours. They often read like little stories or vignettes.

This is a good example of that. All of us reading your blog have come to well and better know you, Ben, and your children Sarah, Gabriel, and Jordan.

It is so obvious that you passionately love what you are doing. That enthusiasm rubs off on people. And, I find it so charming that your blog is absent of pretension, quite in keeping with the natural and organic, mostly vegetarian content of your most excellent, often humorous, and delightful blog.

This year long project of yours will come to an end in December. I will rue that day, as I will miss it and mourn its loss.

The Basil Strawberry Shortcake does sound and look luscious and heavenly.

Anonymous said...

Btw, I like the Strawberry Shortcake hat

The Green Mama said...

Strawberry shortcake & strawberry cheesecake are my two favorite desserts. Well, then there's lemon desserts....ahhh don't get me started *giggles*. I had fun making this and it was very hard to share :)