Gourmet Live‘s Kemp Minifie celebrates her father and his fond love of strawberry shortcake in an essay originally published in the June 1993 issue of Gourmet.
If my father is persnickety about his strawberries, he is equally so on the subject of strawberry shortcake. The way his mother made it is the way he likes it. His version never resembles the high–rise, picture–perfect spongecake concoctions that twirl in coffee–shop windows, but no other rendition I’ve tasted can beat it. The secret, he says, is mashing the berries just enough to bring out their juice without crushing them into a pulp. The mash is then left to sit and “get better” while the biscuits are put in the oven. As the biscuits are cooling the cream is whipped until it is thickened but nowhere near stiff. (In recent years we’ve discovered that a touch of sour cream adds the tang and shine my father remembers in country cream.) When the elements are ready, the biscuits are fork–split, drowned with strawberry mash, and dolloped with hillocks of creams.
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