Nothing says Spring to me more than Old Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake. Not the kind made with angel food cake or pound cake, or worse, the recipe on the back of the Bisquick box. Don't get me wrong I love Bisquick for other things, as well as angel food cake and pound cake, but not for Strawberry Shortcake. The grocery stores are full of beautiful fresh strawberries that were grown in the USA.
This is the same sweet biscuit dough that my Grandmother used for blackberry and peach cobbler and shortcakes. Actually hers were even better because she made her own butter and the milk and cream were fresh from the cow.
You could serve bologna sandwiches for dinner and this Strawberry Shortcake for dessert and no one would even remember what they had for dinner.
Old Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 stick butter, chilled
2/3 to 3/4 cup of half and half, milk, or cream (no low-fat or reduced fat stuff)
1 quart strawberries
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
Rinse the berries under cold water; drain well. Hull and slice the berries; place in a bowl. Sprinkle with the sugar; cover and let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour. Whip the cream (sweeten with 2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar, if desired) until it holds a soft peak. If you keep beating you'll have your own homemade butter. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Set rack at center level.
In a food processor (you can use a pastry cutter or fingertips) combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar and pulse to mix. Cut the butter into about 8 pieces and add to the mixture. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, but with a few pea-size chunks of butter left in the mixture. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and make a well in the center. With a fork stir in the cream or milk, just until dough is moist. Be very careful not to overwork. The dough doesn't have to hold together well at this point. Let the dough stand for a minute. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Fold the dough over on itself (knead) 2 or 3 times, until it is holding together and is less sticky.
Gently pat the dough into a 6 x 12 rectangle about 3/4-inch thick and cut into 8 (3-inch) biscuits with a floured round cutter. Transfer to a buttered foil-lined cookie sheet. Brush on a little milk or cream and sprinkle tops with some sugar. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until risen and golden and brown. Remove to a platter and split each biscuit horizontally with a serrated knife. Butter the hot biscuits then top with about 1/3 cup of berry mixture. Replace the tops and top with about 1 tablespoon or so of berries. Serve with whipped cream topping.