This recipe, which is from a longer article about Strawberry Shortcake, makes six individual shortcakes or one 8-inch shortcake that is sliced and served like a layer cake. Either way, you have a delicious dessert that makes a beautiful presentation.
Whip the 1-1/2 cups heavy cream to soft peaks, adding the 2 tablespoons sugar while the mixer is running. Gently fold in the vanilla when the cream is whipped. Refrigerate until serving time.
Preheat oven to 450°F degrees. If you are making an 8-inch layer shortcake, butter an 8-inch cake pan.
Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. Combine the beaten egg with the cream and pour over the dry ingredients all at once. Stir briefly just until mixture comes together. If mixture seems dry, stir in 1 tablespoon milk.
For the 8-inch layer shortcake, lightly press the dough into the buttered cake pan, leaving the edges slightly higher than the center. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on rack for 5 minutes.
For individual shortcakes, turn dough out on a floured surface and knead and fold 6 or so times. Gently pat the dough to a thickness of 3/4 inch. Cut 3-inch rounds with a cookie cutter. Gather the scraps back together and knead lightly until you have at least six rounds and have used all the dough. Place rounds 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Cool baking sheet on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
To serve either size shortcake, split and butter the shortcake with the softened butter. Spoon strawberries and whipped cream between the layers and over the top. Serve at once while still warm.
Note: To easily and neatly split the 8-inch shortcake, stick 6 or 8 toothpicks into the side of the layer, just at the middle, all around the layer - like a sun with rays. Using the toothpicks as a guide, slice through the layer with a serrated knife - a bread knife works great.
Kitchen tools you'll need: 8-inch Cake Pan, Cooling Rack, Electric Mixer, Mixing Bowls, Pastry Blender, Potato MasherStrawberry Recipes
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