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Monday, April 28, 2014

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKES WITH BALSAMIC AND BLACK PEPPER SYRUP

Our school offers Family Connection Nights during the year, which are a fabulous and fun idea, but for one reason or another, our family hasn't ever been able to attend. We were all super excited about the strawberry shortcake making evening, but because of after school activities the timing didn't work for us.


I placated the kids by offering to make strawberry shortcakes at home, and found this yummy recipe - amazing, melt-in-your-mouth biscuits and the wonderful adult twist of adding balsamic and black pepper to the strawberries, although I left them plain for the kids. Also, the strawberries were delicious on Greek yogurt the next morning, with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of pecans.

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKES WITH BALSAMIC AND BLACK PEPPER SYRUP


BISCUITS
2 cups flour
5 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup chilled cream
1 large egg, beaten to blend (for glaze)
FILLING
2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled, and quartered
6 tablespoons sugar, divided
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 large pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chilled whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

BISCUITS
Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Place flour, 4 tablespoons of sugar, baking powder, and salt in processor. Using on/off turns, process to blend. Add butter, cut in using on/off turns until the butter resembles large peas, about five 1-second intervals. Add cream, using on/off turns, process until moist clumps form. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Gather dough into a ball, flatten into an 8 by 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 for 20 minutes.
Brush the top of the biscuits with egg glaze, sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake until biscuits are golden brown and tester inserted comes out clean, about 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool.
FILLING
Mix strawberries, 5 tablespoons sugar, vinegar and black pepper in a medium bowl. Let macerate 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Using electric mixer, beat cream, vanilla and remaining 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. Using slotted spoon, divide strawberries among biscuits. Spoon dollop of whipped cream atop strawberries. Cover each with top half of biscuit. Drizzle some of the juices from the strawberries around the shortcakes.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, June 2010

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