Canada Day Strawberry Shortcakes

Strawberry Shortcake

I think strawberry shortcake is the quintessential Canada Day ‘food’. I say ‘food’ because I don’t think it should just be dessert– it can be enjoyed all day long–breakfast, lunch,  before bed, whatever! It’s Canada Day! We are celebrating, after all!!  I’m including the recipe for a favourite biscuit — I think making your own shortcakes makes all the difference, and they are super easy.  Don’t overwork the dough- be gentle –it’s the key to a tender and flaky biscuit.  Aside from the biscuit recipe, you’re on your own with the strawberries and whip cream (use real whip cream!) – just assemble however you like. One element I added in was lemon curd. Adds a little zing to your shortcakes– I mean, if you like lemon, that is. If you are more a purist, just stick with the strawberries and cream.  So get your supplies together to make these before the stores are all closed.  And HAPPY CANADA DAY!

Basic Biscuits

 from  My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan  (amazing baking book, if you bake alot)
Makes 12 biscuits

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small  pieces
3/4 cup cold whole milk

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl. Drop in butter and using fingers, toss to coat the pieces of butter with flour. Using fingertips or pastry blender, cut and rub the butter into dry ingredients until mixture is pebbly. You’ll have pea-size pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes and pieces of everything in between – and that’s just right.

Pour the milk over the dry ingredients, grab a fork and toss and gently turn the ingredients until you’ve got a nice soft dough. Now reach into the bowl with your hands and give the dough a quick gentle kneading – 3 or 4 turns should be enough to bring everything together.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Dust the top of the dough very lightly with flour and pat the dough out with your hand or roll it until 1/2 inch high. Don’t worry if its not completely even. Light touch is more important than accuracy.

Use a 2-inch biscuit cutter to cut out as many biscuits as you can. Try to cut the biscuits close to one another so you get the most you can out of this first round. By hand or with a small spatula, transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet. Gather together the scraps, working as little as possible, pat to a 1/2 inch thickness and cut as many additional biscuits as you can; transfer them to the sheet.

Bake the biscuits for 14 to 18 minutes, or until they are puffed and golden brown. Transfer to a serving basket.

For buttermilk biscuits:

*Replace milk with buttermilk, add ½ tsp baking soda to dry ingredients

add milk to flour/butter mixture

don’t overwork your dough!

I used maple leaf shaped cutter, but use what you have.

bake until golden

lemon curd, if using

split biscuit and dollop with lemon curd,then assemble as usual

truly Canadian.

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