Recipe: Strawberry Shortcake
This is a delicious snack that (shh...) I've even eaten for breakfast because it's almost like a scone and I'm a grown-up and can do what I want. :)
For the shortcake
2 Egg Yolks (hard boiled)
1⅓ c Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1¼ c Kosher Salt
3 Tbs Granulated Sugar
6 Tbs Butter (chilled)
⅔ c Heavy Cream
2 Tbs Sanding Sugar or Granulated Sugar (for sprinkling)
For the filling
1½ lbs Fresh Strawberries
¼ c Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Lemon Zest
1 pinch Kosher Salt
2 tsp Lemon Juice (divided)
1 c Heavy Cream
2 Tbs Powdered Sugar
For the shortcake
Preheat the oven to 300° (on low).
Combine the egg yolks, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in food processor and pulse until combined. Pulse in small chunks of the chilled butter until butter pieces are about pea-sized and incorporated throughout.
Add the cream and pulse 2 or 3 times to incorporate.
Remove dough from food processor and gently fold dough together to combine and mix in any dry spots. Do not over knead.
Using a ¼ scoop make 6 balls and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Don't flatten the dough.
Chill in the fridge until cold (about 20-25 minutes).
Take shortcakes out of fridge and brush with cream. Sprinkle sugar on top.
Bake about 20-28 minutes until golden and sides are firm to the touch. Cool before serving.
For the filling
Toss strawberries, sugar, lemon zest, and salt together in a medium bowl.
Put half of strawberries in sauce pan and add 1 tablespoon of water. Simmer over low heat until berries start to break down and become jammy and liquid is syrupy (about 12-18 minutes).
Cool. Once mixture is cool, add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to the berries still left in the bowl.
Combine heavy cream, powdered sugar, and pinch of salt in blender. Beat cream until soft peaks form.
Cut shortcakes in half. Add cooked strawberries, then raw strawberries, then the whipped cream to the bottom layer of cake. Top off with top layer of cake.
With the strawberry season now in full swing, we thought we'd share some of our frequently asked questions about picking berries.
When is the best time to pick?
Early in the morning when the berries are still cool and the sun hasn't had time to soften them or early evening when the sun is setting. Our hours reflect the best picking times: 7 a.m. - noon and 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. daily!
How long is the season?
It varies year-to-year, but usually 2-3 weeks around June. A lot of depends on how much heat and rain we get. We keep our website and Facebook page as up to date as possible on current patch conditions.
Why aren't you open in the middle of the day?
It's usually too hot and people don't want to pick in the heat. Also, the heat softens the berries, so they don't hold up in the containers as well as when they are cooler in the early and late day.
How can I tell which berries are ripe?
A fully ripe berry is all red, no green flesh and no white tip. Ripe berries are firm, not soft or mushy, and have a bright, shiny red color.
How do I pick berries?
The best way to hunt for the nicest berries are to get down and dirty. Use both hands, one to hold the branches and the other to pick the berries. Look under the leaves for the berries - some of the best ones are hiding right under your nose. When picking, keep the stems and hulls on the fruit. It helps keep the berries fresh longer.
What are the best picking practices for good berries?
Handle the fruits gently. Place them gently into the buckets - don't throw or toss them in. Try not to pile the berries too high in the basket or bucket as the bottom berries might be crushed. Take as many buckets as you'd like so you don't have to fill them too full. Don't squeeze the berries and handle them too much - this can cause bruising.
What should I look for when buying pre-picked berries?
Look for fragrant, red, and shiny berries that have a uniform color throughout. The berries should be firm and plump. If any leaves, stem, or hull are attached, these should be fresh and green (not browning or wilted). Stains on the container indicate overripe fruit. And it's always a good idea to buy berries by weight!
What are the best techniques for berry care?
Protect berries from the sun and heat as best you can. When home, sort through your berries and remove any overripe or molding berries. Refrigerate at 32°–40°F in loosely covered containers. Don't wash any berries until you are ready to eat or use them. Strawberries generally keep for 2 to 3 days in the fridge.
How should I freeze berries?
Wash the strawberries and remove any stems or leaves. Pat them dry with paper towels. If freezing individually (for use in smoothies, for example), you can either leave them whole or quarter them. Freeze them individually on cookie sheets and transfer to a freezer-safe container or plastic bag when frozen.
For a sweet treat to top cakes or swirl into yogurt or ice cream: Puree the berries in a blender or food processor. Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar per quart of berries; gently stir until sugar dissolves. Spoon into freezer-safe containers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Freeze up to 12 months.
What are your tips for canning?
We follow the Bell Canning Company's advice. Follow the link below for canning information: Ball Canning Company
Any questions? Drop them in the comments. Happy pickin' y'all!
This week, we planted 16,000 strawberry plants. It took twelve hours, seven people working in shifts, one tractor, and a lot of sunscreen to plant the new fields, which cover about two acres.
We won't see a strawberry crop off these plants this year, though. These little babies will take the next year to spread through the runners and grow into big healthy plants - they'll be ready for strawberry season 2019! This June, we'll be doing a final pick on the fields by the house, which will then be tilled under for a new crop. Kyle rotates crops every 3-4 years to give the fields a break and ensure healthier plants and soil.
The first Vesperman strawberry patch was by the white barn, located right where the duck races are now. Kyle, Judy, and Bruce planted that first field - about 5,000 plants - by hand, spending days on their hands and knees digging, planting, and watering.
"We were younger back then," Kyle says with a shrug.
Today, strawberries are planted by a Transplanter. Hitched to the back of the tractor, the Transplanter seats two people in some actually pretty comfortable chairs. While Kyle drives the tractor at slow idle speed, the planters grab plants from two large compartments and feed them into a wheel. Each individual plant is placed into rubber fingers. As the tractor moves, the Transplanter opens up the furrow and drops the plant in, watering it at the same time. Then the packing wheels close the furrow back up. Check out the video below for a little taste of strawberry planting!
We hope to see you in June! Since season dates and patch conditions are subject to change, check out our Facebook page and website for the most updated information. Happy picking!
Fun on the farm...in blog form!