Are you having just the most beautiful spring like we are having down here in the South? With weekly rains we have been basking in one of the most lush and green springs that I have ever seen! And the STRAWBERRIES are just the biggest and juiciest I’ve seen in this part of the country! I have a great, yet simple strawberry cake that I make, and then of course is the good old stand-by of strawberry shortcake.
OK, I know this is old fashioned, but my husband is a VERY traditional kind of guy (and that’s usually a very GOOD thing! Thus he has made a request for Strawberry Shortcake. The shortcakes for this recipe are very unique in that they each have a crunchy, sugary topping that is so sweet underneath the strawberries. You’ll just love this. Here is the recipe made with a little Italian touch:
Strawberry (Fragole) Shortcake with Marsala
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For the Shortcake
- 2 quarts strawberries, stems & leaves removed, sliced
- 2/3 cups sugar
- 1 stick of butter, softened
- 1-1/2 cups flour
- 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 2 jumbo eggs, separated
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1- 1/2 cups whipping cream
- 1/3 cup sifted powdered sugar
- Marsala wine to sprinkle on top
- Whole strawberries to garnish and serve on the side for extra.
What you need to do to make the strawberry shortcake
- Gently mix the strawberries with the first 1/3 cup of sugar. Chill for 1 to 2 hours. Drain and reserve the juice.
- Use two 9" round cake pans. Using 1/2 Tbsp. of butter for each pan, spread the soft butter evenly around the entire pan; set aside.
- Blend the flour, baking powder, salt, 1/3 cup sugar in a large mixing bowl; with a pastry blender, cut in the remaining butter until mixture is well blended (will look a little lumpy, and that's OK).
- Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Set the egg whites to the side for the final step of shortcakes.
- Combine the 2 egg yolks with the milk. Add to flour mixture. Stir with a fork until a soft dough develops. Evenly place dough into each of the 2 pans and with your fingers, gently spread to the sides. Dough is very moist so use a little butter on your fingers to spread the dough. It looks thin, but it rises nicely.
- Beat the 2 egg whites until stiff peaks form. Brush each of the dough surfaces with the beaten egg whites. Sprinkle the last 1/3 cup of sugar evenly on top, splitting the sugar between the two doughs.
- Bake in a 450 degree oven for 11-12 minutes (and no more). Remove the shortcakes from the pans and cool completely on wire racks.
- Beat the whipping cream until foamy; gradually add the powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form.
- Place 1 cake layer on serving plate. Spread half of the whipped cream over first layer. With a SLOTTED spoon (for juice drainage) arrange half of the sliced strawberries on top. Place the second shortcake on top and repeat the whipped cream and strawberries. I recommend saving the strawberry juice and serving it on the side with whole strawberries. It can also be saved for a strawberry shake or smoothie.
- Sprinkle a little bit of Marsala wine on top of your shortcakes to your preference level.
- Serve extra whipped cream and vanilla ice cream with your strawberry shortcake(s).
La Bella Vita Cucina http://www.italianbellavita.com/
Have a lovely, sweet spring day!