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  • Red, White & Cool Desserts for Summer

Strawberry Shortcake Deconstructed

Source: www.foodnetwork.com

Source: www.foodnetwork.com

I don't know about your mother, but mine LOVES strawberry shortcake.  I think I will fix this for her sometime.  This fresh dessert comes from one of my favorite chefs, Ina Garten, and is perfect for July 4th or anytime in the summer.  There are two versions of serving this recipe - one is shown on this page and the other is seen on the title page you click to open this.

(For a lighter version, you can do what my mother does:  substitute angel food cake for the sweet biscuit recipe below.  Her trick is to use the mix with two steps, not one.)

2 c. All-purpose flour
Granulated sugar
1 T. Baking powder
1 t. Kosher salt
12 T (1 ½ sticks) Cold unsalted butter, diced
2 Extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
½ c. Cold heavy cream
1 Egg beaten with 2 T water or milk, for egg wash
2 pints Fresh strawberries, hulled and thickly sliced
2 T. Gran Marnier liqueur
Sweetened whipped cream

My mother with her dog, Bella. Angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream is one of her specialties.

My mother with her dog, Bella. Angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream is one of her specialties.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. 

Sift the flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, the baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas. Combine the eggs and heavy cream in a measuring cup and, with the mixer still on low, add to the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. The dough will be sticky. 

Dump the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough 1/2 to 5/8 inch thick. You should see lumps of butter in the dough. Dip a 2-inch plain round cutter in flour and cut 16 to 18 biscuits. Place on the sheet pan, brush the tops of the biscuits with the egg wash, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked. Cool on the pan. 

To serve, toss the strawberries with 1/3 cup of sugar and the Grand Marnier in a medium bowl. Place the berries in 6 martini glasses, top each with a dollop of whipped cream, and serve with 2 or 3 shortcakes on the side.

                                                                2010, Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?

Kansas Tirimisu

Source: Andrew Zimmem

Source: Andrew Zimmem

When my son was in 5th Grade, the nurse at the school distributed this recipe to all the parents to encourage healthy eating.  It has become a favorite of ours at family gatherings and it's a great alternative to regular strawberry shortcake.  Plus it's a beautiful presentation!  ALWAYS a crowd pleaser.

1 Angelfood cake, torn into pieces
6 individual containers of low-fat vanilla pudding
2 pints of low-fat vanilla yogurt
3 quarts of strawberries, sliced
3 quarts of blueberries
Granola cereal
Trifle bowl

The trick to this dessert is layering it in a pretty way.  I like to start with angel food cake and then some of the pudding and yogurt, then the fruit and then the granola cereal.  Keep layering, possibly varying these layers depending on the size of your trifle bowl.  And the main thing is to end with the pudding/yogurt mixture on top - not the granola.  This is because the granola doesn’t look as pretty on top and it gets “wilted” when you expect it to be crunchy on top.  Then garnish with extra fruit!



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