I think the reason I love food (and cooking) so much is because every dish reminds me of a certain time, place, or person. For example, strawberry shortcake will always remind me of my mother. (It’s her all time favorite dessert!) So of course, for her birthday on Monday I had to put a little spin on the classic and make strawberry lemon shortcake with homemade whipped cream!
This recipe (and blog post) is dedicated to my mom. It’s because of her that I developed a love for baking and spending time in the kitchen at such a young age. To this day, I still love sitting down with her and reliving all the memories and crazy stories we shared together.
Like when I was little and always being soo excited that she would let me stir the batter for her famous cream cheese brownies. Or learning how to roll out pie crust for our annual Christmas Eve pie baking marathon. (And she being the great mother she is, teaching me that pie dough and leftover cherry filling is the real breakfast of champions. 😉 ) Or even that one year at Thanksgiving when we completely spaced on thawing out the turkey the night before… And then spent the entire day testing out different ways that Google told us how to do it… (Side note: If ya’ll need to know how to thaw out a turkey in less than 24 hours, I got you!) But it’s memories like these that I will cherish forever.
Along with these memories, she also taught me quite a bit about making the perfect shortcake too:
- Always use frozen butter for baking shortcake. Unlike gooey cookies or brownies (that use softened butter) shortcake requires frozen butter to achieve it’s crumbly texture. (The frozen butter pieces help to create air pockets in the shortcake when it bakes.)
- Always grate frozen butter. Why? Well for one thing, it’s a hell of a lot easier to mix into your dry ingredients. And two, the more little frozen butter pieces you have, the more light and airy air pockets you have too!
- When making whipped cream, always use a chilled metal bowl! I cannot stress this one enough! Everything needs to be COLD in order for the whipped cream to form into stiff peaks. Because metal stays colder longer, mixing the cream in this type of bowl will help to keep it chilled while the beaters give off a little heat when whipping. (Don’t worry, I won’t get all nerdy on you and explain how the cold helps with the “whipping process”. Just know that it does.)
So there you have it babes. I didn’t feel right trying to “healthify” this one because there’s just no way that’s something my mom would’ve done.
Besides, life’s all about balance isn’t it?! 🙂
Wishing you all the very best day!
“A mother is a daughter’s first best friend.” – Unknown
Strawberry Lemon Shortcake with Homemade Whipped Cream
- 2 cups flour (I used all purpose)
- 3 Tbsps white sugar
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 cup butter (frozen)*
- 1/2 cup half & half
- 1 egg
- 1 egg white (for the top)**
- Large Sparkling sugar
- Strawberries, sliced
For Whipped Cream:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
To Make Shortcakes:
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix together flour, white sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon zest in a bowl. Grate the butter over this mixture. Using a fork, combine the butter and flour mixture until it starts to look crumbly. (Mixture can still have some loose flour.)
- In a separate bowl, beat the egg. Add in the half and half and combine. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix until a dough forms. (Dough with be very sticky.)
- Form dough into 6 balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Flatten them slightly and brush the tops and sides with the egg white. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar and bake for 12-14 minutes. (Shortcake should be golden brown when done.)
- Let shortcakes cool before assembling.
To Make Whipped Cream:
- Pour heavy cream, white sugar and vanilla in a chilled metal bowl. Beat together on high speed for 2-3 minutes until stiff peaks form. (Store whipped cream in the fridge until ready to use.)
To Assemble Shortcakes:
- Cut each shortcake in half. Layer strawberries, whipped cream and shortcake. Then top with a little more whipped cream and a strawberry for garnish.