Strawberry Shortcake with Toasted Pecan Buttermilk Biscuits
By: Celeste Ward
Food Blog: <www.sugarandspicebyceleste.com>
For the Toasted Pecan Biscuits:
2 cups White Lily all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup toasted, minced pecans
6 tbsp COLD butter, cut into small cubes
3/4 cup - 1 cup cold buttermilk
For the Strawberries:
2 lbs. fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
4 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tbsp light brown sugar
For the Whipped Cream:
2 cups heavy cream
2 tbsp granulated sugar
To Prepare the Pecans:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place a heaping 1/4 cup of pecans on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake in the oven for 6-7 minutes, until toasted and fragrant.
Remove from the oven and allow pecans to cool completely before proceeding. If in a hurry, place the pecans in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process.
Once pecans have cooled completely, place them in the bowl of a food processor, along with 2 tsp of all-purpose flour. Pulse several times until pecans are finely minced into tiny pieces.
1. When pulsing pecans, use short, quick pulses. This, along with the addition of 2 tsp of flour, will help keep the mixture from becoming pecan paste while processing.
2. Be sure to prepare the pecans well in advance. You'll need to allow plenty of time for them to cool before making the biscuits.
To Prepare the Strawberry Filling:
Place the sliced strawberries in a large bowl. Sprinkle 4 tbsp of granulated sugar, plus 2 tbsp of light brown sugar over the strawberries and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes - 1 hour. The sugar will draw out the natural juices of the strawberries and create a syrup.
To Make the Biscuits:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper.
Add the White Lily flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 1/4 cup minced pecans to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 1 - 2 times to thoroughly mix the ingredients.
Next, add the cubes of cold butter to the bowl and pulse the mixture about 7 times. The trick here is to not over-process the dough and to use short, quick pulses. You want to have small pieces of butter, about the size of peas.
Working quickly, transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add the buttermilk and stir lightly just until most of the flour is incorporated (Remember - Don't over-work the dough!). At this point, turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead the dough very, very gently, just until it comes together.
Pat the dough into a 1-inch thick circle, and cut the biscuits using a sharp biscuit-cutter. Take the leftover dough and very, very lightly press it into another 1 inch circle, repeating the process until all dough has been used (about 6 large biscuits).
Place the biscuits on the cookie sheet so that they are touching each other. Bake in the 450 degree preheated oven for 12-14 minutes until risen and golden brown.
For the Whipped Cream:
While the biscuits are baking, place 2 cups of heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment. Add 2 tbsp. of granulated sugar and whip on medium-high speed.
Cut a biscuit in half using a fork. Spoon the desired amount of strawberry filling onto the biscuit, along with freshly whipped cream. Place the top of the biscuit onto the top of the dessert, and garnish with additional whipped cream and a few extra strawberries.
8 Tips for Perfect, High-Rising Buttermilk Biscuits:
1. Don't over-work the dough.
2. Work quickly, keeping the ingredients cold.
3. Be sure to use a southern flour, like White Lily. Southern flours are made from soft winter wheat, so they have a much lower protein content than other flours. That means lighter, fluffier, and more tender biscuits!
4. Toast the pecans far enough in advance so that they have plenty of time to cool before you start.
5. It's very important that you use fresh baking powder and baking soda. These leavening agents do not stay fresh forever and as they age, they lose their ability to do their job, which is making those biscuits rise!
6. Use COLD butter, because once that cold butter hits the hot oven, it will create steam and cause the biscuits to rise higher.
7. Press straight down when cutting the biscuits. Don't turn the cutter as you press down! This will seal the edges and keep the biscuits from rising high.
Place the biscuits on the cookie sheet so that they are touching each other, which is said to help them rise higher.
GDA Cooking - April 30, 2012