25 June 2009

Family Tradition- Strawberry Shortcake with Bacon

Yep, you heard me right. Strawberry shortcake with a hearty side of bacon. Decadent and delicious... a dinner made of dessert and breakfast gluttony. This is one of my most favorite childhood meals. My gramma made it for me when I would go to stay with my grandparents.

I know it is a childhood favorite of my mom's as well. She said they would have it every summer, as often as her mom could afford strawberries. While this is not exactly a family recipe since I tried a new shortcake recipe, it is a family tradition and family meal. So I am submitting this to my sister, Laura of The Spiced Life, who is hosting this month's family blogging event: Family Recipes: Memories of Family, Food and Fun.
I can understand wanting to eat this meal as often as possible. The saltiness of the bacon is the most delicious counterpoint to the sweetness of the berries and cream. It reminds me of dipping bacon in syrup if that sort of thing appeals to you.

It is a simple dinner to prepare, just whip up your favorite batch of simple shortcake, cook some bacon and enjoy. I don't recommend eating this with a lemon flavored shortcake, I would stick to vanilla.

The shortcake recipe that I tried when I recently shared this meal with my parents was okay. Actually it was really tasty for a buttermilk biscuit. But it was just too biscuit-y to be shortcake for us. We enjoy a shortcake that crumbles, this recipe had buttery, flakey layers instead - just like a biscuit. So while I may not use this recipe for strawberry shortcake again, I would definitely use it to make biscuits to go with a hearty meal.

Strawberry Shortcake
American Home Cooking by Cheryl & Bill Jamison

5 cups halved strawberries
3 T sugar or more to taste

2 3/4 cups unbleached, AP flour
2 T sugar
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/4 cup vegetable shortening, well chilled (I subbed in butter here since I don't keep shortening around)
2 T unsalted butter, well chilled
1 cup buttermilk
1 t vanilla extract

Whipped Cream Topping
1 1/2 cups whipped cream, well chilled
2 t pure vanilla extract
2 T sugar, or more to taste

Stir together the strawberries with the sugar, mashing them very lightly with a fork to help release the juice. Let the berries sit at room temperature while you prepare the shortcakes and whipped cream topping.

Preheat the oven to 450 F.

Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl, preferably a shallow one. Cut the shortening and butter into small chunks, and add them to the dry ingredients. Combine with a pastry blender just until a coarse meal forms. Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk and vanilla. With your fingers and a few swift strokes, combine the dough just until it's a sticky mess. Turn out onto a lightly floured board or, better, a pastry cloth. Clean, dry, and flour your hands. Gently pat out the dough and fold it back over itself about a half-dozen times, just until smooth. (A dough scraper helps greatly with this.) Pat out again into a circle or oval about 3/4 inch in thickness. Cover the dough lightly and refrigerate it for about 20 minutes.

Cut the dough with a biscuit cutter, trying to get as many shortcakes as possible, since the dough toughens if it's rerolled. You should be able, with practice, to get about eight 3-inch biscuits, or siz 3 1/2-inch biscuits from the dough. Make your shortcakes with a quick, clean, straight-down push on the cutter. If you twist the cutter, as seems to be a natural motion for many people, it twists the dough, resulting in an uneven shortcake. Bake the shortcakes in the center of the oven, turning the baking sheet around once halfway through the baking time. Bake 3-inch shortcakes for 10-12 minutes total and larger shortcakes for 12-15 minutes, until raised and golden brown.

Prepare the topping, beating together the cream with the vanilla and sugar wtih a whisk or in a chilled mixing bowl with chilled beaters over medium-high speed. Beat the cream only until soft peaks form.

Split a shortcake in half and place the bottom portion in a broad shallow bowl or on a dessert plate. Spoon several tablespoons of fruit and juice over it. Spoon on a dollop of whipped cream. Place the shortcake top over the cream and add another layer of berries and whipped cream. Repeat with the remaining shortakes, berries and cream, and serve immediately.

Serves 6-8


HoneyB said...

Your biscuits look awesome! I have always had such a hard time with biscuits. I believe that the bacon is something I would happily eat beside the shortcake! I love salty/sweet!

Laura said...

I wonder if the butter might have made the shortcake flake more like a biscuit? Anyhoo, thanks for the submission, looks perfect. :)

Ashley said...

Oh I love the idea of putting bacon with desserts :) This looks great!

Noir said...

Really decadent and delicious! I'm suscribing to your blog right now ;). Thanks for recommending my Zucchini Tortilla in Cookiing Light!