Every year Bellevue, WA hosts a Strawberry Festival right at the height of the season. It.s a small event with carnival games, food booths, entertainment (such as magicians, bands and clowns) and of course Strawberry Shortcake.
The event is held just a couple of miles from our house so we usually go. It’s an afternoon of good, silly fun. This year our plan was to go on Saturday afternoon so that we could see the part of the entertainment lineup that included a shortcake eating contest, blues band, the results of a haiku contest (the husband is a sucker for haiku’s), Uncle Stinky’s Magic and of course we would have strawberry shortcake.
Unfortunately, a night of catering on Friday left me worthless on Saturday. The party was the first I had worked since my ankle surgery and the seven hours of cooking and serving took it’s toll. My ankle was swollen and sore. All I could do was sit on the couch (with lots of ice on my ankle). We made plans to go on Sunday. We’d be able to see a jazz big band and Uncle Stinky would still be performing and of course we’d be able to get strawberry shortcake.
The problem is, the husband woke up Sunday morning thinking that he needed to go in to work for a while to get some things done for Monday morning. The strawberry festival was not to be this year.
But I was promised strawberry shortcake!
I decided I was just going to have to take care of this myself. I had received both strawberries and blueberries in my CSA box this week so now I just needed the shortcake part of the equation. I thought a sweet biscuit would do the trick so I turned to my Ratio iPhone app for a biscuit ratio that I could work from.
My lavender plants are huge and just about ready to bloom. It’s the perfect time to cut a few for culinary use. I love the underlying floral flavor that just a bit of lavender provides in baked goods and other desserts.
Here’s the line-up for the biscuits.
Since I am A) lazy and B) needed to use the food processor to make lavender sugar anyway, I decided to make the biscuit dough right in the food processor. It’s seriously easier and the biscuits are delicious and will be done faster which is important if you have been promised strawberry shortcake and you want it as soon as possible.
I combined the sugar and lavender in the food processor.
And then gave it a whiz for 15 seconds or so.
Then I added the flour and baking powder and pulsed it just a couple of times to combine.
Next I added the butter.
Then pulsed it for about 15 seconds.
Next I added the liquid (I decided to use a combination of cream and water) and then whized that for another 15 seconds or so until it was all together in basically one ball.
I turned this out onto a cutting board. Kneaded it a few times and then pressed it out to about 3/4-inch thickness.
I cut the dough using a 3-inch biscuit cutter. Of course by this point my hands were covered in flour, so I neglected a photo of this step. But I’m guessing you can use your imagination.
I placed half the biscuits on a parchment lined baking sheet and then popped them into my toaster oven for 22 minutes (I wrapped the rest of the biscuits in plastic and stashed them in the fridge so I could cook them fresh later). After about 10 minutes my kitchen started to smell heavenly.
As soon as I put the biscuits in the oven I turned to the berries. I cut the strawberries into pieces that were roughly the same size as the blueberries then stirred in the sugar. I thought about adding mint, or more lavender to the mix, but decided to let the berries remain unadulterated.
I popped the bowl into the fridge and left it there (stirring it every 10 minutes or so) until the biscuits were cooked and cooled a little. A half hour in the fridge will bring the juices out of the berries and melt the sugar. The longer it sits the more juices will comes out (but don’t let it sit for more than a day or so because the berries will start to break down and get gross).
Lastly, I whipped some cream with just a little bit of sugar (because really, what is the point of strawberry shortcake if you don’t have whipped cream).
Finally, time to eat. I split the biscuit in half, topped it with plenty of berries and cream, and then popped the other half of the biscuit on top.
My very own strawberry festival at home (made even better with blueberries and lavender). The perfect bite of summer all in one bowl.
B E R R I E S W I T H L A V E N D E R B I S C U I T S
makes 8 biscuits
1 pint strawberries, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pint blueberries
4 Tablespoon sugar (or more if berries are very tart)
4 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon fresh lavender buds
13.5 ounces flour
4.5 ounces butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 ounces cream
5 ounces water
1 cup cream
2 Tablespoon sugar
Combine strawberries, blueberries and sugar in a bowl and stir to combine. Place bowl in refrigerator, stirring berries every ten minutes for the first hour.
In the bowl of a food processer combine sugar and lavender. Process for 15 seconds. Add flour and baking powder and pulse a couple of times to combine. Add butter and pulsed for 15 seconds (flour wil look slightly wet). Add the cream and water and then process for another 15 seconds or until dough comes together in one ball.
Turn the dough out onto a cutting board. Kneaded it a few times so that it comes together completely and then press it out to about 3/4-inch thickness.
Cut dough into rounds using a 3-inch biscuit cutter. Place rounds on to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake for 20-22 minutes. Let cool.
With a hand beater or whisk beat together the cream and sugar until stiff peaks have formed. Set aside.
Split each biscuit in half lengthwise. Place one half in a shallow bowl, top with berries and whipped cream then place the second half of the biscuit on top.