As much as strawberry shortcakes are a childhood favourite for many people, it was something I never grew up with. The only strawberry shortcake I was familiar with was the cartoon character. Some of you might remember her and some of you might not want to admit you remember her.
While perusing the pages of Good Living online, I came across a Steve Manfredi recipe for Strawberry and Ricotta Shortcakes. I knew I had to satiate my curiosity for these shortcakes, and especially when strawberries are so cheap right now.
I told you about how I almost ran off the side of the road when I saw that they were selling asparagus for 69 cents a bunch, well strawberries aren’t that cheap but they are in season so what that means is that they are at their most bountiful and most fragrant.
I’m not one that fully ascribes to eating everything organic; frankly I think there needs to also be an emphasis on eating and buying local as organic isn’t necessarily always the best choice. But I have to admit that when it comes to strawberries, I think that organic is far superior.
The great thing about these strawberries is that they are organic and locally produced, jackpot! They might not be as super-sized as the non-organic versions however I have found that they are softer, juicier and more aromatic. I can’t remember who gave me this advice, but when shopping for strawberries if you can’t smell them then they probably aren’t worth buying. This is mantra I have shopped for strawberries with.
Strawberry and Ricotta Shortcakes
from SMH Good Living
FOR THE SHORTCAKES
230g plain flour
60g caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
80g unsalted butter, cold, cut into 2cm cubes
160ml thickened cream
FOR THE RICOTTA CREAM
250ml thick cream
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
FOR THE FILLING
300g medium-sized strawberries, hulled and halved lengthways
Icing sugar for dusting
First, make the shortcakes. With an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Add the butter and beat until the mixture looks like coarse meal.
Add the cream and beat until the mixture comes together.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and form into a 15cm square about 3cm thick. Refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Using a 5cm biscuit ring, cut out 9 cakes.
Place on a baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes until brown.
Cool on a cake rack.
Make the ricotta cream by whipping the thickened cream with the sugar.
Fold in the ricotta and vanilla.
Slice each shortcake in half and fill with the strawberries and ricotta cream.
Dust with icing sugar.