Roasted Strawberry Shortcakes with Basil + Mascarpone Cream
Strawberry shortcakes are one of my very favorite desserts. How can you really go wrong with strawberries, whipped cream, and biscuits? Even though a “plain” strawberry shortcake will always be a winner in my book, I decided to step up my game a bit this year, just in time for Mother’s Day! Consider this an ode to my Momma, who in no small part influenced my love for strawberries and (real) whipped cream.
Instead of fresh strawberries juiced in sugar for my shortcakes, I opted for the more intense, tangy-sweet flavor of strawberries roasted with balsamic vinegar + honey. You can read more here about this new love affair of mine. The biscuits stayed pretty straight forward. I used self-rising flour to simplify the ingredient list a bit, and I particularly love the extra tenderness of White Lily’s soft winter wheat flour. The whipped cream gets a little extra structure from mascarpone–cream cheese’s Italian cousin–and a lovely herbaceous note from chopped basil. This recipe makes 6 servings.
1 c self-rising flour + more for sprinkling
2 Tbsp sugar, divided
3 Tbsp butter, cold + diced
1/2 c cream or buttermilk, divided
For whipped cream:
1/2 c heavy cream
1/4 c mascarpone cheese
1-2 Tbsp powdered sugar
1 Tbsp fresh basil, minced
1.5 c roasted strawberries
pastry cutter/blender (optional)
electric mixer (hand or stand)
1. Make biscuits. Preheat oven to 425°F. In a bowl, mix together 1 c flour and 1 Tbsp sugar. Add 3 Tbsp cold, diced butter to flour. Quickly cut butter into flour with a pastry cutter, two criss-crossed knifes, or using a snapping motion with your fingers until it is about pea-sized. Pour in 1/3 c + 1 Tbsp cream or buttermilk and mix together (should be enough to just dampen all of the flour). Gather dough together and turn out onto a floured surface. Fold dough over itself a few times, then pat or roll out to about 1/2″ thick. Using a 2″ round biscuit/cookie cutter or juice class, stamp out 6 biscuits, regrouping scraps if necessary.
2. Bake biscuits. Place biscuits on a cookie sheet. Lightly brush tops with remaining cream/buttermilk, then sprinkle on remaining 1 Tbsp sugar. Bake for 11-13 minutes, or until tops are lightly browned.
3. Meanwhile, whip cream. In the bowl of your stand mixer (or any mixing bowl if you’re using a hand mixer), add 1/2 c cream and 1/4 c mascarpone. Whip at a medium speed until it holds soft peaks. Add 1-2 Tbsp powdered sugar (to taste) and continue whipping until it holds firm peaks, careful not to over whip. Fold in 1 Tbsp minced basil.
4. Assemble shortcakes. Layer biscuits, roasted strawberries, and a dollop of whipped cream. Eat immediately.
Short any leftovers separately if possible. Biscuits (leftover or made ahead) can be warmed in a 350°F oven for a few minutes.
Roasted strawberries store well in the fridge and can be made a few days ahead. If you want to serve them warm, heat them in a saucepan over medium heat. Be careful not to boil for long or the syrup with thicken too much.
Whipped cream can be made a few hours ahead, covered and refrigerated. Leftover cream will last a couple of days in the fridge, though it might separate some; stir to reincorporate.
To make your own self-rising flour, use this formula: 1 cup flour + 1 1/2 tsp baking powder + 1/4 tsp salt. I recommend pastry flour if you can find it since it’ll have more tender results than all purpose flour.
In a pinch, you can make the biscuits with regular milk. They’ll be a little more dense and won’t rise much, but they’ll still taste good.
As you can see above, I’ve found that my champagne glasses are the perfect biscuit size, so don’t worry too much about not having biscuit cutters. You can also form the dough into a rectangle and cut rectangular biscuits with a sharp knife. It saves time and is less wasteful of the dough.