Not only is Connor home today, Marissa made a “drive-by” visit. In other words she arrived home late in the afternoon, hung out with us until dinner, dressed and is out for the night, will come home sometime in the early morning hours, let’s say 1 or 2 AM, sleep in her comfy bed, get up and go to the lake with friends, then drive back to Tucson for school on Tuesday. (I know, that is a record for a run-on sentence, even for me!) This is why I call it the “drive-by”… just time enough to eat and run. But hey, when your kids come home, it’s all good… all fair… I’m just happy to see them! Plus dessert is in order when kids are home! Since it’s Labor Day Weekend – it doesn’t get much better than strawberries and shortcake and whipped cream! Now for a quick food processor tip. The dough for the shortcakes is very soft and is a bit difficult to get off the processor blade. The next time you have a messy blade, first get most of the contents out of the processor bowl, then just put the processor back together and turn it on for a second or two. The centrifugal force will basically clean off the blade and push all the contents onto the sides of the bowl. Remove the blade and use a rubber spatula to clean out the bowl. See pictures below.
Summer Strawberry Shortcakes
4 pounds strawberries, hulled and quartered or sliced
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier
2 tablespoons water
2 cups flour
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
Sweetened Whipped Cream
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoon powdered sugar
Strawberries: Place strawberries in a bowl. Sprinkle with sugar and drizzle with Grand Marnier and water. Gently toss with a rubber spatula. Let rest for 2 hours for juices to develop.
Shortcakes: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking sheet or line with a Silpat pad.
Place the flour, 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and turn on for a second or two to blend.
Add the butter pieces. Using the pulse button, pulse until mixture resembles a coarse meal. Turn on and quickly add the milk until mixture just comes together and a very soft dough is formed. Do not overblend.
Drop the dough in 12 equal portions onto the prepared baking sheet. Lightly pat the dough into rounds, lightly brush the tops with the cream and then sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.
Bake the shortcakes in the center of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Sweetened Whipped Cream: Just before serving, whip cream with sugar until it holds soft peaks.
To serve, slice each of the shortcakes in half. Place them opened up on 12 dessert plates and top with strawberries and juice, plus a dollop of whipped cream.