Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcakes

10 cups sliced strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut up
1 cup buttermilk, chilled

1 1/2 teaspoons milk
1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

In large bowl, crush 3 cups of the strawberries with potato masher. Add remaining berries. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon brown sugar; add vinegar. Stir until all berries are coated. Cover; refrigerate a minimum of 2 hours.

Meanwhile, heat oven to 450ºF. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. In large bowl, combine cake flour, all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cream of tartar and baking soda; mix well.

Add butter. Using pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with pea-size pieces of butter. Add buttermilk; stir until dough forms.

Sprinkle work surface lightly with cake flour. Turn out dough onto flour. (Dough will be sticky.) Sprinkle flour lightly over dough. With floured hands, gently knead 8 to 10 strokes. Pat dough into round 1 1/2 inches thick.

Cut out 8 shortcakes with floured 2 1/2-inch round cutter, pressing dough scraps together when necessary. Place on baking sheet. Brush tops with milk; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar.

Place in oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 400ºF. Bake 18 to 25 minutes or until shortcakes are firm to the touch and tops and bottoms are light brown. Cool on wire rack at least 20 minutes before serving.

In another large bowl, whip cream, 3 tablespoons sugar and vanilla at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Cover; refrigerate until serving time.

To serve, split shortcakes in half horizontally. Place bottom halves on individual dessert plates. Top each with strawberries and their juices. Cover with shortcake tops. Spoon cream over top. Refrigerate leftovers.

8 servings

Cooking with Brown Sugar: 51 Recipes

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