When Bob and I first moved to Warwick in 1987, there was one supermarket. It was enormous, but you couldn’t get a loaf of crusty bread or a ripe piece of fruit; the only salad greens were shaped like a baby’s head and bore the name “Dole.”
I remember once in the late ‘80’s, we went on a wild goose chase in the Black Dirt of Pine Island, stopping at farms, searching for baby lettuce. We did find some, at D’Attolico’s, Vinny Senior rising from his barcalounger to find out what these strange foodie maniacs were doing at his farm.
The Warwick Valley Farmer’s Market opened in 1993, part of a growing movement in this country to begin to bring farm and table back together. It fills my heart to reflect on how the Market has grown in size, diversity, and popularity over the years. We signed up for Rogowski Farms CSA in the very first season, and never looked back! Both of my kids have worked for Cheryl; my bowls are on the tables at the farm’s delicious breakfasts; we cherish our relationship with her and the Farm.
We try to eat local and seasonal as much as possible now. I will be bringing you lots of Farm Market posts in the months to come. This recipe is absolutely delightful! Of course, you can make a lovely shortcake with supermarket strawberries, but if you can get local, grow or pick your own, it is truly heaven. I’m giving you a pretty classic version, because you simply can’t improve on perfection.
Tree-licious Orchards have such beautiful berries!
This makes a small batch, 4 shortcakes, you can readily double it. The recipe is based on the one from Cook’s Country.
2 pints ripe strawberries
¼ cup sugar (any sugar is fine, I like brown for this)
Wash the berries and slice them. Mix with sugar and salt. Macerate (let them sit) in the fridge while you make the shortcakes.
1 cup organic all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ cup cold butter, cut into ½ inch pieces
2 tbs. cane sugar, divided
¼ cup sour cream
2 tbs. cream*
*break an egg into a bowl, beat it, pour out half. Make a very tiny omelette. Use the rest for the shortcakes. Alternatively, you may use the other half egg to glaze the shortcakes instead of the cream.
Preheat the oven to 375°.
Mix the half egg and the sour cream in a small bowl and set aside.
Pulse the flour, salt, baking powder, and half the sugar in the food processor until well mixed. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the sour cream mixture, stir with a fork until a dough forms. Now go in with your hands and knead a bit.
Line a baking dish or sheet pan with parchment. Use a small ice cream scoop to make four pretty dough mounds. Brush with cream. Or egg. Then sprinkle with the other tablespoon of sugar.
Bake the shortcakes for 25-30 minutes or until they are light golden brown. Let them cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Let them cool for at least 15 minutes before you assemble.
1 cup cream
¼ cup cane sugar
Whip the cream in a stand mixer, with a hand held mixer, or by hand until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and salt and continue to whip until firm peaks. If you want to hold the cream, place it in a strainer over a bowl in the fridge for up to 6 hours.
Use a serrated knife to cut the shortcakes in half. Top with berries and delicious berry juice. Then whipped cream. Then the other half of shortcake. If you want, you can put a bit more cream and berry on top to make it beautiful. Serve.