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Strawberry Shortcake Ring

in Diana's Recipe Book

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Servings: 8
From Flo Braker:
"The shortcake part of this recipe is what most of us know as a biscuit
dough. Nothing tastes better than a rich biscuit dough moistened with the
juice of fresh strawberries and topped with a dollop of just-whipped
heavy cream. A biscuit dough usually contains flour, baking powder, salt,
butter, and milk. However, a richer, slightly sweeter biscuit, is made with
buttermilk for tang and some all-vegetable solid shortening for

For this dessert, I've chosen a shape different from the traditional. Rather
than forming several individual shortcakes, you bake the entire batch of
biscuit dough in the shape of a ring to transform it into a strawberry
shortcake that is simply regal".

Pastry Dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour*
3 tablespoons sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon each baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
2 tablespoons shortening, chilled
2/3 to 3/4 cup buttermilk

2 pints fresh strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 pint heavy cream, whipped
2 tablespoons powdered sugar, for garnish

Adjust rack in lower third of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Generously grease a 9-inch ring mold (or an 8-inch cake pan).

Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch slices. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until butter pieces are the size of lima beans. Cut in the shortening until mixture looks like coarse meal.

Slowly stir in the buttermilk with a fork until mixture forms a dough that leaves the sides of the bowl. Gently knead the dough on a lightly floured board about five to six times until the dough holds together (it should be soft).
With a lightly floured hand, pat to one-inch thickness and pat into ring mold. Bake about
18 to 20 minutes or until golden. Remove to rack to cool 5 minutes, then invert from pan onto another wire rack, baked bottom side up. Cool before filling.

Filling: Slice berries in half, sprinkle with two tablespoons sugar and allow to sit at least
30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove half the strawberries to another bowl and
coarsely mash them with a pastry blender or fork. Let both bowls of strawberries sit at
least an additional 30 minutes.

When cool, set shortcake ring on a serving plate. Carefully split it into two layers with a
serrated knife. With the aid of another pan or baking sheet, lift the top shortcake portion
and set it nearby. (The baking sheet bottom supports the shortcake ring and prevents it
from breaking.)

Spoon the mashed berries with their juice over the biscuit bottom, spread the lightly whipped cream on top of the berries, then arrange the berry halves on top of the cream.

With the aid of the baking sheet, set the shortcake ring half on top. Sprinkle powdered sugar lightly over the top. Serve immediately.

To make a whole wheat pastry dough, substitute 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour for 1/2 cup
of the all-purpose flour.

Biscuit Dough Tips:

1) Butter and the all-vegetable solid shortening should be chilled.

2) For a flakier biscuit, cut in fats with a pastry blender rather
than your fingertips.

3) Don't cut in the fats beyond the coarse meal stage.

4) For a more tender biscuit, add buttermilk with fork just
until mixture is moistened without over mixing the dough.

5) For the best tasting biscuit, don't add too much additional
flour when kneading, pat lightly (just use fingertips) when forming or shaping the dough in the baking pan.

6) If you can't remember when you bought your present container of baking powder, perhaps you should replace it with a new supply. Fresh baking powder gives the biscuit dough that important lift it needs during baking.

Source: Article From Sally's Place by Flo Braker
Date: January 11, 2002

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