Thursday, July 8, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake with Balsamic and Black Pepper Syrup

It doesn't get more "summer" than this.

Strawberry Shortcake with Balsamic and Black Pepper Syrup
From Epicurious

2 C. Flour
11 T. Sugar
2 1/2 t. Baking Powder
1/4 t. Salt
1/2 C. chilled unsalted Butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 C. chilled Heavy Whipping Cream
1 large Egg, beaten to blend (for glaze)
2 lbs. fresh Strawberries (about 8 cups), hulled, sliced
3 T. Balsamic Vinegar
1 t. freshly ground Black Pepper
1 t. Vanilla Extract

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 425 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place flour, 4 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt in processor.  Using on/off turns, process to blend.  Add butter; cut in using on/off turns until butter resembles large peas, about five 1-second intervals.  Add 1 C. cream; using on/off turns, process until moist clumps form.  Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface. Gather dough into ball; flatten into 8 x 4-inch rectangle (about 1 1/4 inches thick).  Cut lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 4 equal strips, forming 8 square biscuits.  Transfer biscuits to prepared baking sheet and chill 20 minutes.  Can be made ahead if covered and kept chilled.

Brush top of biscuits with egg glaze; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar.  Bake until biscuits are golden brown and tester inserted horizontally comes out clean, about 15 minutes.  Transfer to rack and cool.  Can be made ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Mix strawberries, 5 tablespoons sugar, vinegar, and black pepper in medium bowl.  Let sit for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Using electric mixer, beat 1 C. cream, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon sugar in another medium bowl until peaks form.

Cut biscuits horizontally in half. Place bottom half of each biscuit, cut side up, on plate.  Divide strawberries among biscuits.  Spoon dollop of whipped cream atop strawberries.  Cover each with top half of biscuit.  Drizzle some of juices from strawberries around shortcakes. 

Note:  my biscuits just refused to rise.  And no, that is not a double-entendre.  They were still edible but so, SO annoying and I'm not sure what I did wrong! 

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