This has been a disappointing year in the strawberry department for me. I’ve had the raved about Harry’s Berries….once. See, this is my second strawberry season out of my parents’ house and I weirdly haven’t seen my parents all that much this past month. Typically during strawberry season, visits to parents=raiding the refrigerator for Harry’s Berries. No visits–no strawberries.
Hopefully you are not having a similarly barren strawberry season because some of the best desserts have my favorite fruit! Nothing can’t be improved with a side of strawberries, or with incorporated strawberries, or built around strawberries, or ohmygod I need strawberries. Sorry. Back on topic.
One of the most popular strawberry desserts is the strawberry shortcake. But the cake part is so often dry, dense, and flavorless that the strawberries get sad. And nothing is sadder than sad sweet fruit. So we need to elevate the other parts of strawberry shortcake to deserve the berries. Introducing: Strawberry SCONEcake.
Subbing that hockey puck of a biscuit for a soft, melty scone completely changes the shortcake game. Filling the split scone with fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream is a given at that point. It is so good, you’ll be dreaming about this surprisingly quick and easy dessert. It’s perfect for your summer BBQs or family get-togethers or just an average night that you want to make special. For Fourth of July, try adding blueberries to the filling to make a red, white, and blue scone cake!
The best bites of this dessert are the ones with a piece of each layer, obviously, but even then nothing is overly sweet. The sugar is perfectly balanced in each component to keep everything tasting light and to let the fruit sing for itself. Topping the scones with coarse sugar adds that little something extra (crunch). You can also experiment with other scones and other fruits: Chocolate Chip or White Chocolate Chip scones would be to die for here, and any kind of berry works great. Now excuse me while I go hunt down some Harry’s Berries!
- 400 grams all-purpose flour (about 3 ¼ cups)
- 4 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 100 grams ultrafine baking sugar (about ½ cup)
- 300-350 mL heavy whipping cream
- Coarse sugar to top
- Whipping cream
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- Strawberries cut in half
Place a glass bowl and the beaters of a handheld mixer in the freezer.
Make the Sconecakes
Preheat oven to 220°C (425°F). Place rack as high as possible in oven. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the sugar, and give a quick few stirs with a whisk.
Add 250 mL cream, then work in by hand by rubbing in the cream trying to incorporate as much air as possible until fully mixed. DO NOT OVERMIX. If the mix is too dry, now add the extra cream until the dough is wet enough to hold together.
Place dough on a heavily floured surface and knead a couple of times until relatively smooth. Pat down to ¾ inch. Use a 3 inch crimped biscuit cutter to cut out rounds. (Or a shaped cutter like my heart.) Place on baking tray. HINT: dip the cutter in flour before cutting out each scone. Knead the extras back together and repeat until most of the dough is used up. Once all the scones are on the baking sheet, sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake for 15-18 minutes, tenting scones with aluminum foil after 10 minutes, until they have risen and are slightly browned around the edges and on top.
Set aside to cool while you make the whipping cream.
Take bowl and beaters out of freezer. Pour heavy whipping cream into bowl. Add sugar. Using an electric hand mixer, mix cream on medium for 30 seconds to mix in the sugar. Then increase speed to high and beat until soft peaks form.
Cut cooled scones in half horizontally. Set tops aside.
On bottom half of scone, layer strawberry halves. Top with a generous dollop of the fresh whipping cream. Top cream with more strawberries (no there is no such thing as too much whipped cream or too many strawberries).
Top with the scone’s upper half and serve immediately.