So they had the most gorgeous strawberries at the grocery the other day. I am not even a huge strawberry eater, but you could literally smell the sweet strawberry fragrance when you walked in the door. I knew my husband, who as I have told you before, is the biggest strawberry lover I know, would really enjoy them. I take them home and my brain starts mulling over what I could do with these strawberries and I make the mistake of talking about it out loud, to the strawberry connoisseur. I asked him, "How does a strawberry cheesecake with a crust of crushed Oreos, topped with sweetened strawberries sound?" or "What about a strawberry cobbler topped with vanilla bean ice cream?" He looks at me and what does he say? "Why can't we just have strawberry shortcake...you know like ...wait for it... like Mama used to make?"
Now don't get me wrong, I loved my mother-in-law dearly, God rest her soul, and I still miss her even though she passed over twenty years ago, but is this what you say to a woman who is trying to not only write a food blog that gets people interested, but is trying to be creative? My husband did make a good point though, sometimes just the old fashioned things we always ate and that our mothers or grandmothers made are the best. So I went to work on an old fashioned strawberry shortcake. Here is what you will need for this cake:
1 quart strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup real butter
2 cups sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
whipped cream for topping each piece
Wash the strawberries, hull and slice them. Cover with 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup water. Mix together until the sugar dissolves. It's best to do this a few hours before serving because the berries will release their natural juices as they sit in the refrigerator.
The cake is basically the recipe for a Kentucky Butter cake minus the sauce. If you have never had a Kentucky butter cake with the sauce...oh my goodness. I will do a post on that one in the next week or so. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cream the butter and sugar together and the add in the eggs and mix. Add in the buttermilk and vanilla and then begin to mix in the flour mixture just until it is all incorporated. Don't over mix it. Pour into a 9"x13" pan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray or buttered and floured. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Check it at 35 and if a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, it's done. I cut this recipe in half and made a smaller cake just for us and it worked fine. You can adjust it to your family size.
Place a square of the butter cake in a dish, cover with the strawberries and drizzle some of the juices over the cake, and put a big dollop of whipped cream on top and you have "Old Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake"!