We get weekly deliveries from Thames River Melons, a farm in Ontario offering market boxes this summer, in lieu of selling at farmers’ market stands. When a heaping flat (6 quarts) plus another 2L basket of local strawberries greets you on your doorstop, you know that summer is finally here. Dr. S immediately asked me to make strawberry shortcakes for dessert, and I was really excited to find a surprisingly simple way to make them.
To my surprise, the byline on this recipe is J. Kenji López-Alt, someone I associate more with savoury cooking. Anyway, this is probably the easiest dessert you (or your children) can make. The secret is making the shortcakes using self-rising flour and heavy cream. Period. That’s it. No grating of frozen butter, no rolling and cutting. Just stir, portion, bake.
I had already made a batch of our favourite strawberry ice cream, so we used that instead. As delicious as this variation was, I think I prefer whipped cream, as I like how the macerated strawberry juices mingle and stain everything.
Would a more traditional biscuit be flakier, more tender, or more buttery? Probably. But it wouldn’t be this easy to make. Kenji’s headnote is accurate: this recipe falls into the “maximum-return-for-minimum-investment category”.