Strawberry shortcakes with cornmeal and vanilla bean whipped cream

Strawberry season is upon us! And that means it’s time to make some strawberry shortcake.

Classic strawberry shortcake consists of a biscuit or scone-like base, strawberries, strawberry syrup, and whipped cream.

Here, I gave the classic a little upgrade by swapping out some of the flour for cornmeal to give the shortcakes more bite. I also added some vanilla bean to the whipped cream. Totally optional but the flavor goes really well with the strawberries.

You start by baking your shortcakes.

Next, you macerate the strawberries.

Then, you make the whipped cream, and assemble it all together!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes and chilled
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, cold
  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon flaxseed meal, 3 tablespoons warm water)
  • Granulated sugar

Ingredients – macerated strawberries

  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Ingredients – vanilla bean whipped cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with a silpat (silicone mat) or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Mix the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter in a food processor, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. It should take about 15 pulses. Do not overmix. Remove and transfer mixture to a large bowl.
  3. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, gently stir in cream and flax egg.
  4. Shape shortcake mixture into 8 balls and gently place on baking sheet.
  5. Sprinkle granulated sugar on top of each shortcake.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until tops are just slightly golden brown. Carefully remove and place on cooling rack.
  7. To macerate strawberries, combine sliced strawberries and sugar in a bowl. Stir so that strawberries are evenly coated, then wait 10 minutes. The strawberry juice and sugar will naturally create a delicious strawberry syrup.
  8. To whip cream, combine vanilla bean paste, cream, and powdered sugar in a chilled mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, whip at low speeds until stiff peaks form, about 60 seconds. Be careful not to over whip and turn into butter.
  9. To assemble, slice shortcake in half. Top with macerated strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream. Serve immediately.

How to veganize this recipe

Sub vegan butter for the butter and coconut cream for the cream. Make sure you keep them well chilled in the fridge.

Tips for baking shortcakes

  • Make sure your baking powder still works. Put a punch in some water and see if it bubbles.
  • Keep your butter and cream as cold as possible. Take them out right when you’re ready to use them.
  • Freeze your butter and cut into tiny cubes or grate it. Freeze again until you’re ready to use it.
  • Try mixing the dry ingredients and butter in a food processor. This will keep the heat of your hands from melting the butter.
  • Place baking tray towards the top of your oven. The bottom of the shortcake browns quickly and you want some color on the tops too. Watch them carefully; don’t leave the room.
  • When in doubt, err on the side of underbaking. The shortcakes will continue to cook for a couple minutes after you remove them from the oven. Overbaked shortcakes will be too dry.

Tips for making whipped cream

Chill your bowl to keep your cream from overheating. You can also fill a large bowl with ice and then place the bowl you want to whip your cream in inside that bowl.

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