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Monday, April 12, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake

I grew up with a different version of Strawberry Shortcake that any I've seen.  I much prefer it - I'm sure partly because that's what I grew up with.  I've noticed that other people just slice and sweeten the berries, some use a glaze, such as Danish Dessert, to slice the berries into. If my berries aren't very juicy, I might add a package of prepared Danish Dessert to the mixture.  

Mom made a wonderful One Egg Cake to use as the shortcake - it is coarser than regular cake.  My recipe for that is written on a 2x2 inch, faded pink, grease stained, Post it Note. LOL!  Tiny writing, probably the closest thing to write on when I called Mom on the phone for the recipe.  The recipe itself must be old.  It calls for the cake to be baked in a "moderate oven".  Mom told me that would be about 350 degrees.  :o)   Anyway - the cake is terrific for Strawberry Shortcake.  I've never tried using it for anything else. 

We always had home grown strawberries.  They are smaller and alot more moist and flavorful.  Sometimes now I have to make do with commercially grown strawberries. (like yesterday)  They are larger and firmer.  Home grown berries can be mashed easily with a potato masher, commercially grown berries work best carefully chopped in a food processor or the lowest setting on your blender.... leaving as large of chunks as possible while mushing up enough to make a little juice.

Freshly whipped cream is the BEST topping!  (whip until stiff, add a tad of vanilla and powdered sugar - powdered sugar helps the whipped cream stay firm longer)

One Egg Cake

1/4 C. shortening (or I use butter or margarine)
1 C. sugar
1 egg
1/4 tsp. salt
2 C. cake flour (Mom and I have always used regular flour)
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. milk

Cream shortening (or butter) and sugar until fluffy.  Add egg and beat well.  Sift dry ingredients together (I omit the sifting and just put the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and stir with a fork) and add to sugar mixture alternately with milk.  (a little milk & mix - then a little dry ing. and mix, etc - for those of you a little new to baking)  Add vanilla and mix well.    Pour into greased  8x8 pan.  Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) for 25 minutes or until center is done.  (check with a toothpick - if it comes with batter on it, bake another few minutes & check again.  It is done when toothpick comes out clean)

Strawberry Topping directions:

Cut off the tops and wash fresh strawberries. (frozen will work in a pinch)  Mash with potato masher OR gently chop them in your food processor or low speed blender. (you DON'T want puree!)  You want it to be quite chunky, yet juicy.   Add sugar to taste.  I like mine quite sweet.  (surprise, surprise!)  

Assembly:

Cut cake into serving size pieces.  ( I like to cut my piece in half horizontally so it absorbs more strawberry liquid!) 
Spoon prepared Strawberry Topping generously over cake.  
Top with whipped cream.

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