Pushing Summer Strawberry Shortcakes

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Parties, 2001, by Ina Garten

Ingredients-Shortcakes
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), diced
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup heavy cream, chilled

1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water or milk, for egg wash

Ingredients-Filling
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 pounds strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered (depending on berry size) to medium size slices
5 tablespoons sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl toss strawberries with 5T sugar and set aside to allow juices to develop for at least 30 minutes.  If you are doing this for
use later in the day, refrigerate until ready to use.

Meanwhile, sift the flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, the baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle
attachment.

On lowest speed blend in the butter until the butter is the size of peas.

Combine the eggs and heavy cream and quickly add to the flour and butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough will be sticky.

Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface. Flour your hands and pat the dough out 3/4-inch thick. You want to see pieces of butter in
the dough.

Cut 6 biscuits with a 2 3/4-inch cutter (fluted looks nicest), pushing cutter straight into dough and lifting straight up (do not twist or
shortcakes won't rise) and place on a prepared baking sheet.

Brush the tops with the egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, the outside will be crisp and firm to touch.  Cool
for a bit on a wire rack.

While shortcakes cool, make the whipped cream using electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment: whip the cream and 2T sugar together
until soft peaks form. Add the vanilla and continue to beat until the peaks are stiff.

Split each shortcake in half crosswise and place the bottom half on its own plate. Distribute 1/2 the strawberries and their juices over
the bottom half of shortcakes, add generous dollops of whipped cream, more berries and top with reserved shortcake tops.

NOTE:
While Ina Garten has you pat out and cut the dough I should say that it is a bit challenging. (Hence why I didn't take any photos, my hands were covered in shortcake.) If your dough is super sticky I don't see why you can't use a big spoon to pull 6 large pieces away from the mound OR use your hands and pat lightly. You want to handle the dough as little as possible because there is so much liquid in it and too much playing with it will really activate the gluten in the flour
and give you a tough shortcake.

Yield: 6 Strawberry Shortcakes with tops or 12 opened face.
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