Strawberry-Orange Shortcake

  • 1 Pint fresh strawberries
  • ½ a vanilla bean
  • ½ cup sugar (divided)
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 5 Tbsp butter or shortening
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tbsp orange zest
  • Whipped cream to finish

For the biscuits: Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine flour, salt, baking powder and ¼ cup of the sugar. With a pastry cutter or your fingertips, cut or rub the butter in until mixture looks like large bread crumbs. Add buttermilk and orange zest. Mix quickly and gently for about 20 seconds until you have a soft dough. Pat dough into a rectangle about 3/4-inch thick. Fold it into thirds like a letter and roll gently with a floured rolling pin until the dough is 3/4-inch in thickness again. Cut into circles or squares and place on a lightly greased sheet tray. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. For the strawberries: Remove the stems from the strawberries and slice them. Place half the strawberries in a small sauce pan with ¼ cup sugar, the vanilla bean (sliced in ½ lengthwise) and orange juice. Cook over medium heat until thick and bright red (about 15 minutes). Mix in the rest of the strawberries when done and remove the vanilla bean pod. To serve: Slice biscuits in half, top with strawberry sauce and whipped cream.

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