If, like me, you find yourself still surrounded by delicious local Nova Scotia strawberries, and if, like me, you also love to make and eat delicious things, then you are in the right place, my friend.
Strawberry shortcake is a classic summer staple, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t share my undying love for it on the interwebs. Buttery biscuits, luscious strawberries, and sweet whipped cream are so good together… add some soft hints of lavender, and you’ve got a deadly combination. Deadly as in crazy delicious, not like ACTUALLY deadly… just to be clear… there is no risk associated with eating this… except if you become hopelessly addicted to the deliciousness that is to follow, and you spend all of your time, money, and energy making and eating strawberry lavender shortcakes… but you’ve been warned so just don’t do that ok? Thanks.
Strawberry Lavender Shortcake
For the biscuits:
3 C flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp salt
¾ C butter (make sure it is chilled!)
1 C buttermilk
For the strawberry topping:
8 C slightly crushed fresh Nova Scotia Strawberries
¼ C Seafoam Lavender Farm lavender sugar
FYI – I prefer to eyeball my topping proportions. I just crush up a big bowl of strawberries based on how many servings I’m making, and then sprinkle liberally with sugar, but since this is a recipe and everything, I figured I should give you an estimate in case you wanted to use up all of the biscuits you’re about to bake.
For the whipped cream:
1 C whipping cream
1 TB Seafoam Lavender Farm lavender sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
To get started, preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I always forget to preheat my oven and I am super impatient about it, so just go ahead and do it right now. We’ll wait.
Ok, next step is to measure out the dry ingredients for your biscuits.
We start with the flour.
Then add the sugar, followed by the baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Mix them all together, and then we’ll add our chilled butter, but first a warning: do not over-handle your biscuit dough. When you add the chilled butter, you want it to be a kind of chunky-mealy-type-mixture and if you over-handle it from this point on in the recipe you can mess up your biscuits. Feeling nervous? Never fear. I always have a work-around for messed up baking. Just try your best, ok?
So, to add the chilled butter, I decided to try this cool idea from the internets: grate it in.
Next mix it together while trying not to over mix it. I decided to just go for it and used my hands instead of the pastry cutter I stole from my parents, and the set of two butter knives I often use.
Next, put the bowl aside and then remember that you don’t have any buttermilk.
If, like me, you never have buttermilk on hand I have a little trick to share with you.
Grab a lemon
and juice it – you need 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice for this to work.
Now take that lemon juice and put it in a measuring cup, then add milk until you reach 1 cup.
Let that mixture sit for about 5 minutes, and you’ll have a buttermilk substitute. You’re welcome.
While you’re waiting for the buttermilk substitute to sit you can prep the strawberries.
If, like me, you have a really awesome little strawberry plant on your front step that is producing berries for you on the regular that actually taste awesome unlike every strawberry plant you’ve had in the past, feel free to put those in there too.
I think front step berries might be the most local thing I’ve ever used.
Now, as I previously mentioned, if you want to use up all of your biscuits in one go you may as well prep about 8 C of strawberries. I usually just make one or two at a time – I swear I’m only eating one at a time – and just eyeball it. So, depending on how much strawberry topping you want, here’s what to do:
Step one: hull your strawberries.
The straw is the best. I am a convert.
Step two: cut them in half.
They don’t have to be in half, if you have a preferred fraction you are welcome to cut them as such.
Step three: squish ‘em up a bit.
You also don’t *have* to mush them up, but I like my strawberry shortcake dripping with delicious strawberry mush, and I don’t find cut up berries quite the same. Some people skip this step though, and just go for the cut up berries, so you do you.
Step four: sprinkle with lavender sugar.
If you’re doing the full 8 C of strawberries you’re going to want about ¼ C of lavender sugar. If you’re just doing one serving I usually just use a nice big spoonful.
Step five: let it sit for a while.
* picture not necessary *
Now, back to biscuits.
Make a little well in your dry ingredients and pour your buttermilk or “buttermilk substitute” in.
Stir together until just combined and then you’re ready to roll.
Throw down some flour and roll out your biscuits, again trying not to over-handle them, and cut them out with a biscuit cutter, circular cook cutter, bottom of a cup, or literally any other clean circular shaped object that you have in your kitchen that might work. Oh, just make sure it is clean and well floured first, ok?
Alternatively, you can just scoop out 1/3 C of the biscuit batter and plop it right on the baking sheet. I think I’m going to try this next time.
Spoiler Alert: I may have rolled some of my biscuits out too thin before cutting them. I also may have over-handled my biscuits a little bit.
What happened? Let’s just say when my boyfriend got home he thought I had some chicken burgers cooling on the counter.
Never fear, I have a work around for this that is actually better than the original. My number one baking tip is to embrace your delicious mistakes, and learn from the not-so-delicious ones. Wait, is that two tips?
Once your biscuits are on your baking sheet, brush them with a little egg wash and sprinkle some of that sweet turbinado sugar on the top.
Pop them in the oven for about 15 minutes, and keep an eye on them.
While the biscuits are baking you can make your whipped cream. I’ve included whipped cream in a few recipes before, so apparently I didn’t take any pictures of this process. So here’s the deal:
– whipped cream works best in a chilled bowl, with a chilled whisk attachment
– pour that whipping cream in and start your mixer, then sprinkle in your lavender sugar and vanilla
– make sure you don’t over mix your whipped cream… once it starts to look like whipped cream you’re good to go
You can fill up a piping bag, or leave the whipped cream in the bowl to spoon on. Either way is equally delicious, just make sure you store it in the fridge until go time.
Once your biscuits are ready, cut one open and spoon some of that sweet strawberry mush on the top.
Next add your lavender whipped cream,
followed by the top of your biscuit
and then repeat until you have a tower of deliciousness.
If your biscuits turned out right, you’re all done and you can dig in.
BUT WAIT… what if your biscuits turned out like sad little chicken burgers? Then listen up because this is even better than the original…
If your biscuits didn’t quite live up to your expectations, or even if they did and you just want to eat a mountain of strawberry shortcake then follow me…
Break up a biscuit and make the first layer…
then spoon in your squished up strawberry sauce…
then add some lavender whipped cream…
then repeat until you finally have your delicious mountain of strawberry shortcake!
I really like referring to it as a mountain of strawberry shortcake, but you can also call it a trifle, I guess.
See? Sometimes our mistakes turn out to be even better than our original plan. Sometimes they turn into a sweet, delicious victory.
Cheers to that!