Recipes, both original and favorite ones from other authors. Vegetarian with vegan-friendly (most of the time!) options.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Birthday Shortcake

Yesterday we celebrated Paul's 40th birthday! A big occasion! He's never been one for regular cake on his birthday. He likes pie or another kind of dessert. And falling in June, his birthday can take advantage of all kinds of summer fruit (plus enjoying it outside!).

We decided on Strawberry Shortcake this year. But with a twist! The shortcake is a Lemon Lavender Shortcake that I came up with myself! I used a scone recipe from Joy of Cooking for the shortcakes and added lemon and lavender. And just when our lavender in the garden is perfect for baking with!

Strawberry Lemon-Lavender Shortcake

For the shortcake:
Stir together 2 cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1-2 teaspoons finely-ground lavender buds (grind in a coffee grinder) and the zest of one lemon. Stir in 1 cup heavy cream and the juice from one lemon. Stir in enough extra cream for the mixture to just come together--use a light hand in mixing. Knead in the bowl just until the dough forms a rough ball and transfer to a floured surface. Roll out to about an inch thick and either cut out rounds or cut into squares. Place the pieces on a baking sheet and bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.

For the strawberries:
Hull and slice 2 to 3 pints of strawberries. Place in a bowl and add sugar to taste--about 1/4 cup--and a handful of chopped fresh mint.

To assemble:
Split the shortcakes in half. Place one or two shortcakes on each plate and spoon strawberries on top. Dollop plenty of whipped cream on top of that. Enjoy!

Oh, yes, I even made a vegan version of this for Hibi. And it was surprisingly good, too! Instead of adding cream, just cut in 6 tablespoons of vegan shortening, then add enough non-dairy milk for the mixture to come together. Continue as directed. I've seen vegan whipped creams on the market but we didn't think of getting this in time....she enjoyed it plenty without the whipped cream!