Vanilla Orange Strawberry Shortcake
To me, nothing says summer in the midwest like shortcake biscuits heaped high with sweet, juicy strawberries and fluffy, billowy whipped cream (especially since farmer’s market strawberries just arrive here in Chicago!) I played around with my recipe a bit to create a slightly sweet biscuit, infused with a hint of vanilla bean and orange. To round out the flavor, I added a hint of orange juice to the whipping cream recipe. Topped with the strawberries, the result is a traditional strawberry shortcake with a hint of orangy freshness and comforting vanilla. One taste and you’ll know that summer has finally arrived.
- 2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/3 cup shortening, chilled and cut into small pieces
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
- 1/4 teaspoon orange zest (zest from apx. 1/2 a medium orange)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
- 1 cup half & half mixed with 1 tablespoon lemon juice (or use buttermilk instead)
1Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl.
2Add the shortening and butter and cut into the flour mixture using a pastry blender or your hands, until mixture has an even consistency and lumps are no larger than pea size.
3Add the orange zest, vanilla and the half & half mixture and stir until the dry ingredients are incorporated and a dough is formed. Do not overmix.
4Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll out to a 1-inch thickness.
5Use a biscuit cutter or an overturned juice glass, cut out shortcakes and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Reroll any scraps and cut again but avoid excessive handling or the dough will become tough.
6Bake shortcakes for 15-20 minutes, or until biscuits are lightly browned and doubled in height. When finished, transfer shortcakes to a rack to cool.
7To serve, split the shortcakes in half and place bottom half on a serving dish. Layer with sweetened berries and a dollop of whipped cream. Add top half of shortcake and top with additional strawberries and whipped cream. Serve immediately.
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