9 June 2007

Strawberry & Lemon Shortcake

Naramata in the Spring
Yay for strawberry season.! I made this recipe for friends on the weekend and was not disappointed. It combined my favourites with lemon and strawberries. I even went to the health food store and found lactose free whipped cream as my friend is lactose intolerant. I knew they would have to have something on the market...after all...what is strawberry shortcake without whipped cream.

Photo is taken in the Spring overlooking Lake Okanagan in the countryside near the town of Naramata, British Columbia.



**Strawberry and Lemon Shortcake**

3 cups all-purpose flour (750 mL)
2 teaspoon baking powder (25 mL)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda (1 mL)
1/4 teaspoon salt (1 mL)
1 cup butter, softened (250 mL)
2 cups granulated sugar (500 mL)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/4 cups buttermilk (300 mL)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (5 mL)
2 tablespoons lemon zest (25 mL)
2 cups lemon curd (recipe follows) 500 mL

Whipped Cream Filling

2 cups 35% cream (500 mL)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla (5 mL)
4 cups strawberries (1000 mL)
1/4 cups sugar (50 mL)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (25 mL)
mint sprigs and icing sugar for garnish

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Grease and line 13 x 7-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, on medium speed, beat butter and sugar together until light in colour, 3 - 4 minutes, scraping bowl down periodically. Slowly add eggs in 4 additions, beating well after each addition.

Reduce speed, and alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake, rotating pan after 10 minutes to ensure even browning. Bake an additional 10 - 15 minutes, or until cake is golden in colour and springs back lightly when touched.

Transfer cake to a wire rack to cool. Once cool to the touch , turn out cake and remove parchment paper. Cool completely. Cut into 15 equal squares. Cut each in half horizontally.

While cake is baking, place berries in a bowl; sprinkle with sugar and lemon juice. Let stand until juices are released.

Whipped Cream Filling:

Place chilled cream in a metal bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Add vanilla extract and chill.

To Assemble:

Place a bottom half of one piece of cake on each dessert plate. Divide berries and liquid evenly, top with a dollop each of the lemon curd and whipping cream; top with a final piece of cake. Garnish with mint sprigs, and a sprinkle of icing sugar.

**Lemon Curd**

1/2 cup unsalted butter (125 mL)
1-1/4 cups sugar (300 mL)
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (175 mL)
2 T lemon zest (25 mL)
6 eggs

In a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, combine butter, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. Cook, stirring constantly, until all butter is melted and sugar is dissolved about 4 minutes.

In a heatproof bowl, whisk eggs. Continue whisking while pouring in about 1 cup of hot lemon liquid.

Once combined transfer egg mixture back to saucepan, and continue to cook, over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.

Cover surface directly with plastic wrap. Cool in fridge until ready to serve with shortcake.

Serves 15

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