There’s a small produce stand on the Silverado Trail just north of downtown Napa. Heading north, you’ll find the Saetern Family Farm’s stand on the left side of the road. We happened to have some cash on hand last weekend (we found out they also have a Square) so we stopped in. We’re glad we did, because we could smell their strawberries as soon as we got out of the car! They were perfectly ripe–ready to bring home and use for some of our favorite summer salads and desserts. The first thing we made were these perfect simple strawberry shortcakes.
We have not made strawberry shortcakes in years. We don’t have a good reason for that. It took less than 10 minutes to mix the dough and cut out the cakes, and as we learned from this batch, when you have perfectly fresh berries, they don’t need anything more than a little fresh whipped cream to make a simple and delicious summer dessert!
For a super simple dessert, just pick up shortcakes. If you’re in San Francisco, one of our favorites are the shortcakes from Bi-rite Market (you can find them here). Otherwise, you can just make your own. We wanted our shortcakes to be extra large and luxurious, so instead of a basic biscuit cutter, we used a wide glass that we recycled from one of our favorite candles to keep in the kitchen. We always have one of these mojito or these neroli candles burning in the kitchen. When they burn out, we put them in the freezer to harden the wax, pop it out with a butter knife, then run them through the dishwasher. They make great cocktail glasses (example here), and as we discovered, perfect biscuit cutters.
Our strawberries were so delicious, they didn’t need any added sugar. We simply sliced them and mounded them on half of a shortcake, then topped them with freshly whipped cream from our iSi canister. If you don’t have an iSi canister, we highly recommend getting one. Making whipped cream takes seconds. We got our professional version on clearance at Williams-Sonoma years ago. This model is much less expensive and probably all you need. We only ever use one tip on ours anyway. Make sure to get a pack of cartridges. In addition to cream, you can also use an iSi canister to whip lots of other creative things like burrata.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Cut the cold butter into the dried mix until it forms small pea sized pieces. Add half and half and combine with a fork.
- Roll dough out to be 1 inch thick. Use a biscuit cutter or glass to cut rounds. Place a silpat or parchment paper on a large sheet pan. Place biscuits on the sheet pan and brush the tops of the biscuits with half and half.
- Cook until the tops are golden brown.
- Allow biscuits to cool. Cut in half with a bread knife, fill with sliced strawberries and use an iSi cream whipper to add fresh whipped cream.