Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rosemary-Balsamic Strawberry Shortcake

So you went to the U-Pick like I suggested yesterday, right? And now you picked too many strawberries and you want a good recipe to use some of them up? Well good, because I just came up with this snazzy little number and I'm eager to share my success with you.

Oh, you will not believe how well these flavors go together!


Shortcake Biscuits:
2 cups unbleached white flour
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 Tbsp sugar (vanilla sugar, if you have some!)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup very cold butter, cubed
Generous 1/2 cup half-and-half (plus extra for brushing)

Strawberry Filling:
3 cups strawberries, trimmed and halved
3 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Good-quality vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Toss all the dry ingredients for the biscuits into your food processor and mix them up, or do it by hand in a bowl. Cut in the butter, pulsing with the food processor or crumbling into the flour mix with your fingers, until it resembles a coarse meal. Slowly add the half-and-half, and pulse or combine until it's just blended in (the dough will still be crumbly).

Pat the dough into a ball, giving it a little knead if it's not holding together, and roll it out to about an inch thick. Use a glass or biscuit cutter to cut out large rounds; brush them with a little half-and-half, and bake them for 20 minutes or until done.

Meanwhile, mix the strawberries with the honey, balsamic, and rosemary. Set aside for at least half an hour or so. When the biscuits are done, set them aside too and let them cool.

When everything's ready, split a shortcake biscuit in half and top the bottom half with the strawberry mixture. Set the top half of the biscuit on top, spoon a little extra strawberry love around the plate, and top the whole shebang with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Enjoy on the porch and relish the feel of a summer evening.

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