To me, there is one thing that always signals that Summer has begun…Michigan-grown strawberries. It is possible to get strawberries year-round these days, but I have yet to find an out of season berry that has more than a fraction of the flavor of a local one. My favorite way to eat these juicy bits of tasty wonderfulness is as the main ingredient in strawberry shortcake.
I scored two quarts of strawberries at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market this morning that the farmer said were picked just before he came to the market today. Short of picking them myself, that is about as fresh as I am going to get.
Once I got them home, I cleaned and hulled them, then sprinkled 2 tablespoons of turbinado sugar over them. Then they went into the refrigerator. While I was letting the juices really start coming out of the berries, I had to determine what type of biscuit I would make for my shortcakes. Ultimately I opted for 3-1-2 Biscuits from Chef Michael Ruhlman’s amazing book Ratio.
These biscuits took several hours to make, mixing ingredients and letting them chill in the refrigerator for an hour. Taking the dough out, rolling it out before folding over on itself and returning it to the refrigerator a couple of times for an hour each time. The last time the dough got folded and then cut into the individual biscuits before going into a 400 degree oven for 20-30 minutes.
After the biscuits came out of the oven, I had to let them cool long enough to be able to touch them without burning my fingers. I set four of them into separate bowls, spooned strawberries and juice over them and squirted a generous dollop of Redi-Whip over the top.
All that was left at that point was to pause long enough to take this photo.
I loved the flaky layers of these biscuits, they were almost like puff-pastry. Still warm, they really soaked up the cool berry juice and really provided an excellent base for the strawberry shortcake. As for the Redi-Whip, it definitely dresses it up and ultimately, why not?