The City Magazine Since 1975

Strawberry Shortcake with Cornmeal Biscuits

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For the biscuits:
2 Tbs. shortening
2 oz. unsalted butter, diced small
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal  
1/2 cup whole buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp. local honey
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt    
Granulated sugar

For the filling:
1 pt. local strawberries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup whipping cream, chilled
2 Tbs. confectioners’ sugar
4 to 6 leaves of mint and/or basil



For the biscuits:

Chill the shortening and butter in the freezer. Preheat oven to 400°F.

Whisk the cornmeal, buttermilk, and honey together in a bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes.  

Place the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment and mix for a few seconds to combine. Chop the chilled shortening into pieces. Add the shortening and chilled butter to the flour mixture. Beat on low speed for three to five minutes, until the butter and shortening become pea-sized. Add the cornmeal mixture. Beat until a dough forms, less than one minute; do not overmix.

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Roll it into a three-quarter-inch-thick circle. Cut the biscuits with a half-inch round cutter. (For large biscuits, a two-inch cutter works well; cooking time is the same.) Transfer the biscuits to a baking sheet. Refrigerate the biscuits for 15 minutes. Remove from refrigerator and sprinkle the tops with granulated sugar. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the biscuits are golden brown. Cool to room temperature. The biscuits are best the day they are baked.   


For the filling:
Wash the strawberries and dry on paper towels. Remove the stems. Quarter the strawberries. Toss them with the granulated sugar in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes to four hours.  
Place the cream and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl. Whip until cream reaches stiff peaks. Refrigerate.

Right before serving, wash the mint and/or basil leaves and pat dry. (If the leaves are large, layer them into a stack. Roll the stack into a cylinder. Cut the cylinder into thin slices.)

Slice the biscuits in half. Spoon the strawberries and their juice over the bottom halves. Place leaves atop strawberries. Add a dollop of whipped cream. Top with second halves of biscuits. Serve immediately.