What’s Cooking? Strawberry Shortcake

By Lucy McCullough

I am looking forward to the arrival of native strawberries. Nothing compares to the sweet and juicy locally grown berries. I like to just wash and eat them without sugar, cake or cream, but I am tempted at least once during the season to share a strawberry shortcake dessert. Some folks like the pound cake or angel cake version and some of us prefer the biscuit. The following recipe was the one my mother served that includes yeast, making them light and fluffy, not at all like the typical baking powder biscuit. The recipe also makes a large quantity for a large group, stored for the next treat or baked for another purpose.
Wash and drain berries. Slice or cut into quarters and add sugar of choice to taste. Press lightly with masher and let sit in the refrigerator to create juices. Bake the biscuits and cut in half. Butter lightly. Cover with berries and top with whipped cream.

Angel Flake Biscuits
Dissolve 1 package of dry yeast in 5 tablespoons of lukewarm water. Mix together 5 cups flour, 5 teaspoons baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, 1 scant teaspoon salt and 3 tablespoons sugar. Cut in 1 cup butter (or shortening) with pastry blender.
Add 2 cups room temperature buttermilk* to the yeast mixture. Stir in the dry ingredients and use immediately or store in the refrigerator to be used as needed. (Keeps in the refrigerator for several days.)
Form into biscuits or drop by spoon onto greased pan and let sit at room temperature for a few minutes before baking. Bake at 400 degrees F for 12-15 minutes.

* You can find powdered buttermilk in the baked goods section of the grocery. Follow directions and add to the yeast mixture. The powdered buttermilk is great to have on hand to add to pancakes, waffles, etc.

NOTE: When I was a child my mom also served the biscuits on top of stew, on chicken/turkey and gravy or instead of bread for lunch or dinner. Occasionally they were served with eggs and sausage for breakfast. Another favorite treat was splitting the hot biscuit, buttering lightly and coating with honey. Yum, yum!

Let’s eat!

Lucy McCullough and her husband, Jim, started Catamount Outdoor Family Center on the family farm in 1978 and have been operating Catamount’s B&B since 1996. A former cook at Catamount’s Tavern, she helps manage the farm and works part-time as Catamount’s CFO and office manager.