Strawberry Shortcake with Lowell High School

This morning we rose early and headed over to Lowell High School to take get cooking with the seniors. Today was “dessert day” and with strawberries filling the markets right now, we had a pretty good idea of what we wanted to make: Strawberry Shortcake. There were a lot of clean plates this morning. It only takes about 45 minutes to make (with some downtime while the oven’s working); here’s how:

Strawberry Shortcake
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Adapted from Mary Nolan and Food Network

1 1/2 pounds strawberries, cut into lengthwise slices or quarters
5 tablespoons sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups half and half or heavy cream

1 1/2 cups heavy cream, chilled
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

Mix strawberries with 3 tablespoons sugar and refrigerate while juices develop, at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, 2 tablespoons sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add heavy cream and mix with hands until combined. Place dough mixture in an ungreased 8-inch square pan and bake until golden, 18 to 20 minutes.

Using a mixer or whisk, beat the heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest until soft peaks form, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

Remove shortcake from pan and place on a rack to cool slightly. Cut into 6 rectangles and split each piece in half horizontally.

Spoon some of the strawberries with their juice onto each shortcake bottom. Top with a generous dollop of whipped cream and then the shortcake top. Spoon more strawberries over the top and enjoy.

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