Total time: 40 minutes, plus macerating and cooling times
Note: Adapted from Lindsey Shere's "Chez Panisse Desserts."
3 (16-ounce) pints strawberries
About 3 tablespoons superfine sugar
Two to four hours before serving, wash and hull the berries. Roughly slice or quarter two-thirds of the berries into a large bowl. Sprinkle the sugar over the berries and, using a wire pastry blender, smash the berries so they begin to juice. Halve or slice the remaining berries into the bowl. Cover and refrigerate.
2 cups (8.5 ounces) flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whipping cream, divided
1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. Cut in the butter until the mixture looks like cornmeal with a few larger pieces of butter in it. Use a pastry blender or two knives, if you like; I just rub the mixture quickly between my fingers. Mix in three-fourths cup of cream, just until most of the dry mixture has been moistened. Turn out on a board and knead a few times until the dough just comes together. Divide into six portions and lightly pat into flat rounds about one-half-inch thick.
3. Place on an unbuttered baking sheet. Brush the tops with the remaining 2 tablespoons cream, and bake until the tops are lightly browned and the dough is set, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool slightly on a rack.
1 cup (more if desired) heavy whipping cream
Pinch superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. While the shortcakes are cooling, whip the cream. Using a balloon whisk, whip the cream in a large bowl until it is thick, but not stiff. Whisk in the sugar and vanilla extract.
2. To serve, split the shortcakes in half. Ladle lots of strawberries on the bottom half, cover with the top half and spoon the whipped cream over.
Each serving: 629 calories; 7 grams protein; 55 grams carbohydrates; 4 grams fiber; 44 grams fat; 27 grams saturated fat; 143 mg cholesterol; 18 grams sugar; 471 mg sodium.