Saturday, June 11, 2011
strawberry short cakes with lemon curd
I come from an area that was historically known for growing strawberries. Up until the time I was around 8 or so my great uncle even had a strawberry patch in his backyard. I would spend my Sunday afternoons picking strawberries with my mother. Those were the best dang berries ever, nothing like what comes from the grocery store. These were real strawberries with real flavor. They were just the right balance of sweet and tart. To tell you the truth I think that anything grown in the garden tastes better than store bought. Just like home cooked food will always taste better than anything that comes from the store. I wish more people would learn that. Any way here is my strawberry inspired dessert.
Strawberry short cakes with lemon curd
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
4 extra-large eggs
1/2 cup lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Using a carrot peeler, remove the zest of 3 lemons, being careful to avoid the white pith. Put the zest in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the sugar and pulse until the zest is very finely minced into the sugar.
Cream the butter and beat in the sugar and lemon mixture. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add the lemon juice and salt. Mix until combined.
Pour the mixture into a 2 quart saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. The lemon curd will thicken at about 170 degrees F, or just below simmer. Remove from the heat and cool or refrigerate.
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons shortening
3/4 cup half and half
Melted butter to brush shortcakes
Ice cream or whipped cream
Heat oven 450 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut in butter and shortening. Mix in half-and-half. Drop by large spoonfuls onto a baking sheet. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15 minutes or until brown.
To assemble the short cakes just hull and slice about one pound of strawberries and sprinkle them with some sugar. Cut each short cake in half and drizzle with lemon curd and then top with berries and whipped cream.