My parents and my grandma came to visit last weekend, a couple days after my dad’s birthday. To celebrate their arrival (it had been many months since they were last here) and also my dad’s birthday, I made one of his favorite desserts – strawberry shortcake.

I’d never made homemade shortcakes before, but I saw a recipe on Smitten Kitchen (one of my favorite food blogs) earlier in the week, and it motivated me to try it. They were pretty easy and quick to make – a lot like scones. You mix everything together in a food processor, form it into a circle, cut it into pieces, and bake it. And they tasted great. My dad loved it, even going so far as to say they tasted better than the little spongey circles you buy in the store, which is a big compliment coming from him. And Mike gave it an impressive 4 rating. They both heated up the leftover shortcakes the next day and enjoyed it again. I would definitely make these again, it’s great for an easy yet special summer dessert.

*I cut my shortcakes with a biscuit cutter to make them nice and round. They definitely expanded during baking, so I would make them a little smaller next time. The recipe says it serves 6, but we found those to be generous portions. If you make the shortcakes smaller, it would serve at least 8, but you might need more strawberries.

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Strawberry Shortcakes

Ingredients:

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 hard-boiled egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (84 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 teaspoons lemon zest (optional)
2/3 cup (168 grams) plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/2 pound strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup whipping cream, beaten to soft peaks
vanilla ice cream

Directions:

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, 3 1/2 Tbsp sugar, baking powder, egg yolks, and salt. Pulse to combine. Add the butter and zest, if using, and pulse until the flour resembles coarse meal. Add 2/3 cup of cream and pulse until the dough comes together.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gather into a shaggy mass. Knead a couple times to make it into a cohesive mass and then pat it into a rough circle about 6 to 7 inches in diameter, and 3/4 to 1-inch thick.

Using a sharp knife, cut the circle into 6 wedges and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. I used a biscuit cutter to cut mine into circles. Chill for 20 minutes (and up to 2 hours).

Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush the tops of the shortcakes very lightly with heavy cream and sprinkle lightly with the coarse sugar. Bake until risen and golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Turn the pan around halfway through to ensure even cooking.

While the shortcakes are baking, toss the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice together in a bowl. Let stand several minutes. (If the strawberries are extremely firm, do this 30 minutes in advance.)

Split the shortcakes in half horizontally and set the tops aside. Place the bottoms on dessert plates and top with ice cream, strawberries, and whipped cream. Replace the shortcake tops and serve immediately.