Strawberry Shortcake is such a spring thing. In France, they say the first strawberry you eat of the season you are to make a wish. I made mine today.
The French also converse in great lengths while comparing the Spanish strawberries to their glorious, worth waiting for, Strawberries from Carpentras.
I rarely wait, I'll eat any strawberry that comes my way... nevertheless, the strawberries from Carpentras are worth their weight in gold. But as wishes are concerned, I rather make mine sooner than later. Spanish strawberries seal the deal each year.
I have a pet peeve. I cannot stand to see someone cut too much off the top of a strawberry. It seems sacrilegious.
Strawberry Shortcake has two parts, the lush strawberries and the divine crust.
Gather the freshest strawberries, a couple of baskets full and a few to pop in your mouth will chopping them. Gently rinse the strawberries, take their green hats off, mash them lightly, just enough so they render their juice. Then sprinkle half of a cup of sugar, a couple of splashes of Grand Mariner, five or six chopped mint leaves, and a cup of cream, the thicker the better.
Let them sit in a cool place for an hour or two.
If you gave up Sugar and booze for lent.... you might want to stop reading this post before you are tempted to break your promise.
Aren't these nifty baskets?
For the shortbread crust, first finely, chop a handful of hazelnuts, then add half of a cup of soft butter, a cup of sugar, two large eggs, two cups of flour, and a teaspoon of baking powder. Mix lightly until it forms a ball. In a buttered (8X11) pan add some wax paper, and then gently pat the crust into place.
Bake for about 20 minutes on 350°
When it is golden, take it out of the oven and out of the pan, and let it cool somewhat before cutting it.
Make sure the knife reaches to the center of the cake. I am so glad I thought of that before, You want to take the top off and add strawberries to the bottom half.