July 3, 2008


It's a summer to love: Maine lobster on the grill, potato-shrimp salad with a sexy green goddess -- backyard entertaining is a patriot act. (Russ Parsons, July 4, 2007, LA Times)

Shortcakes with strawberry ice cream


2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

3 tablespoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chilled butter, cut into 8 pieces

3/4 cup whipping cream

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to mix well. Scatter the butter cubes over the mixture and pulse until it forms the consistency of cornmeal, with a few larger lumps of butter left intact. Add half of the cream and pulse it into the mixture. Add the remainder of the cream, bit by bit, until the mixture forms a mass that pulls cleanly away from bottom and sides of the work bowl. You may not use all of cream.

2. Alternatively, the dough can be made by hand. Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Scatter the butter cubes over the mixture and, using a pastry cutter or fork, work them into the mixture until it is the consistency of cornmeal and only a few larger lumps of butter are left intact. Pour half the cream lightly over the mixture and stir it in with a fork. Continue adding cream, a little at a time, until the mixture comes together as one mass. You might not use all of the cream.

3. On a lightly floured work space, quickly and lightly knead the dough until it is smooth and cohesive. Gently roll out the dough to one-half-inch thick. Cut out biscuits with a 3-inch biscuit cutter, or lightly floured juice glass. Gather the leftover dough together, knead again briefly and roll out again. Cut remaining biscuits.

4. Place the biscuits on an unbuttered baking sheet and bake until light brown and slightly crusty, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before splitting and serving. Makes 8 to 10 biscuits.

Strawberry ice cream and assembly

2 pints ripe strawberries,


About 3/4 cup sugar, or to taste, divided

1/2 cup sour cream

1 cup whole milk

1 cup half-and-half

1 cup whipping cream


1. Quarter one pint of the strawberries lengthwise and if they are very large, cut them in half again crosswise; the pieces should be no larger than about one-half inch. Sprinkle over about 2 tablespoons of sugar, depending on how sweet they are. The mixture should be fairly sweet as cold diminishes flavor. Toss to mix well and set aside for at least 1 hour to let the berries fully soften and release their juices.

2. Whisk together the sour cream, milk, half-and-half, whipping cream and one-half cup sugar. Chill for 1 hour and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions; if your ice cream maker makes less than 1 quart, you may need to do this in two batches. When the ice cream is almost solid, add the strawberries and their syrup to the ice cream maker to churn 3 to 4 minutes to combine. The ice cream will be a pale pink, and there should be chunks of strawberries visible. The ice cream can be served immediately, or it can be packed into a container and frozen solid for up to 2 days; let it soften briefly at room temperature before serving.

3. Up to 1 hour before serving, quarter the remaining pint of strawberries lengthwise and toss with about 2 tablespoons of sugar, or to taste. Toss to mix well and set aside for at least 1 hour to let the berries soften and release their juices.

4. Split the shortcakes horizontally and place each bottom half on a dessert plate. Top with a scoop of strawberry ice cream and spoon the sugared strawberries and syrup over the top. Set the shortcake top half atop the ice cream at a jaunty angle.

[originally posted: 7/04/07]

Posted by at July 3, 2008 5:20 PM
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