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Strawberry Shortcakes with Lemon

Strawberry Shortcake

Summer comes early in our little town in Southern China, and right now in early March it’s already strawberry season. One of the joys of living seasonally is anticipating the various fruit seasons, enjoying the fruit to the utmost while it’s in season (and perhaps canning some for the months to come), and then looking forward to the next seasonal fruit. Strawberries will only be around for about a month, and the brevity of this season makes them all the more delicious. No woody, grassy-tasting strawberries for me in November – no thanks – I’d rather have the best tasting, melt-in-your mouth berries for a few weeks than have less than the best all year.

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This is the first time I’ve made strawberry shortcake, and I gotta tell ya – this recipe’s a keeper! Cobbled together from an Epicurious recipe and a few others from around the web, this dessert couples meltingly sweet, ripe strawberries with a lemony buttermilk biscuit and fluffy whipped cream. It’s got the perfect blend of crispness from the biscuit and lusciousness from the macerated strawberries. And I love, love, LOVE the contrast of the lemon zest and the strawberries.

PLEASE don’t use strawberries that are anything less than ripe. This recipe is basically a strawberry delivery system, and if the star ingredient isn’t up to par, it falls flat.

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Lemony Strawberry Shortcakes
loosely adapted from Epicurious
Serves 6

Sweet Lemon Buttermilk Biscuits

2 cups flour
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tsp baking powder
1 scant tsp baking soda
2 tbsp sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
½ tsp salt
½ tbsp grated lemon zest
2/3 cup buttermilk, well shaken, plus extra

2 pounds ripe strawberries, washed and hulled
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice

Whipped Cream
1 cup chilled whipping cream
3 tbsp sugar

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt together in a bowl. Using your fingertips, rub in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the lemon zest and buttermilk. Fold gently into dry ingredients until incorporated.

Transfer dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat (with floured hands) into a circle about 1.5 inches thick. Cut dough into 6 wedges and transfer to baking sheet.

Brush wedges with extra buttermilk and sprinkle with extra sugar. Bake for about 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into middle of biscuits comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cut the strawberries into quarters (or halves if they’re small), and mix with the sugar and lemon juice. Let macerate for about 15 minutes.

Beat the whipping cream with the sugar until it forms soft peaks.

When biscuits are done, let them cool about 5 minutes, then cut them in half. Pile with strawberries and whipped cream, and serve immediately.

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7 comments to Strawberry Shortcakes with Lemon

  • I love strawberry shortcake! Looks beautiful!

  • The shortcakes look wonderful! I just found your site on Tastespotting. Its great. Love all the photography tips.

  • Camilla

    Thanks both of you. Chris will be particularly glad to know someone found his photo tutorials useful!

  • I made these shortcakes a few weekends ago, and they turned out wonderfully. I really liked the lemony flavor baked right into the shortcake, and the buttery cake texture absorbed all those lovely berry juices. I think I prefer the berries themselves without the lemon, but that certainly did not stop my husband and I from devouring this dish in two days! :)

    Thanks for sharing, these were scrumptious!

    ~ Becky.

  • Camilla

    Glad they worked for you! It’s always nice to know that your recipes work for more than one person =).

  • [...] strawberry shortcake.  After perusing my foodgawker feed for recipes, I settled on this one from food republik.  The lemony biscuits were what intrigued me.  My previous exposure (considerable though it has [...]

  • Michelle DeVito

    Hey Camilla!
    I was searching for a recipe and google directed me to your blog…I’m going to try this one :) Give baby girl a squeeze for us!