I do not know about anyone else but after making and serving (and cleaning up) dinner to either an entire party or just my family, the idea of also preparing a difficult dessert is tiring. Because of this, I always have a few simple recipes handy. One of our family’s favorites is my strawberry shortcake. It is truly easy to prepare, delicious, and can be beautifully presented. This recipe is semi-homemade, but awesome nonetheless.
- 16 oz strawberries
- 1 squeeze fresh lemon juice
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tbs brown sugar
- 1 tbs granulated sugar
- 1 tbs maple syrup
- 8 oz heavy cream
- 1/2 tbs vanilla extract
- 2 tbs confectioners’ sugar
- package of dessert shells (6 per package)
To begin, clean and quarter the strawberries after cutting off the stems. Once quartered, place the strawberries into a bowl and add the squeeze of lemon juice. The lemon juice adds the perfect acidic flavor to the dessert without being overbearing. Toss the strawberries ensuring they are covered well.
After, add the pinch of salt, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and maple syrup (if you don’t have syrup handy, feel free to use honey. The taste will be slightly different, but the key is to have a liquid component to marry the flavors.). Once again, toss the strawberries and added ingredients to ensure everything is well combined. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
About 10-15 minutes before serving, begin making the whipped cream. Homemade whipped cream is actually a very simple thing to throw together, and is without doubt better than store-bought. *Side note: I have no issue with store-bought! It’s just that homemade whipped cream is literally heavenly.
Put 8 oz of heavy whipping cream into a large bowl. Make sure the bowl is large enough to whip the cream without getting cream splattered all over your kitchen. Whip the cream with either a whisk or mixer with a whisk attachment until peaks begin to form. Once very thick, add the vanilla extract and half the confectioners’ sugar. Continue whisking the ingredients together until combined, and viola! You have made homemade whipped cream!
Arrange the dessert shells prettily onto a tiered platter. I love a tiered platter for presentation. There is something so simple yet elegant about tiered platters and I love using them whenever I can.
Once arranged on your platter, add dollops of whipped cream into the shells.
Once the whipped cream is added, top the shells and cream with the strawberry mixture.
Once the strawberries are added, sprinkle the rest of the confectioners’ sugar on top of the shells for garnish. If you’re feeling really fancy, mint leaves make for beautiful and delicious added garnish!
*Pro tip: This dessert pairs well with tea, coffee, or red wine (*wink*)!