Having dessert for dinner may not make you the world’s best mom, but in our home, our annual tradition of berry picking and preparing the Best Mom in the World Strawberry Shortcake for dinner rates up there with favorite family traditions!
Once upon a time, there was a young mother who decided to take her children strawberry picking one afternoon at the local farm. Captivated by the beautiful sunny day, the children gathered their baskets excited for a day out in the sun. As they wandered up and down the rows searching for the delicious, juicy red berries, they would stop and sample one now and then. Beautiful daisies decorated the landscape as the children gathered bountiful bouquets for their doting mother. Enraptured by their sweet gifts of appreciation, she decided that this night she would give her children a very special gift in return.
Whether it was an overdose of sunshine, or an act of love from a desperate mother, the tradition has never wavered throughout the years. On the night of the first strawberry picking in May, this family would have dessert for dinner. Best Mom in the World Strawberry Shortcake was birthed into the highlight reel of the Bramblet family annual Spring/Summer traditions.
Find a U-Pick Farm Near You
Okay, so I may have exaggerated a little bit. There is nothing like picking your own seasonal fruit, especially if it is from your own land. Going out in nature, and stopping to see, taste, smell, feel, and listen to the natural world around you is positively healing.
Ultimately, it is our dream to own our own homestead with berries, orchards, lavender fields, and chickens again. I am thankful that there are places we can go to connect to the earth, to our food, and to each other, out in the sunshine. Below I listed two websites where you can search for U-Pick locations near you.
Truthfully, anyone can go to the store and purchase a basket of strawberries. Even better than that would be shopping at your local farmer’s market. But think of the experience of taking the time to stop and really connect. There is nothing sweeter than watching your children peruse the aisles stuffing their little berry-stained faces. Not only are they getting their daily dose of Vitamin D, but you are making memories and demonstrating how amazing it is to watch the process of picking fruit, preparing it, and enJOYing it together. Maybe, you too, will make an annual tradition of preparing Best Mom in the World Strawberry Shortcake for dinner.
For the Shortcake
Because I use my Tea Party Scones recipe as the shortcake base, I have included that recipe here:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 T grated lemon zest
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled grass fed butter, cut into pieces
- 1 cup chilled buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 400° and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) in food processor.
- Add chilled butter and lemon zest and process until you have a crumb like mixture.
- Slowly add in chilled buttermilk and pulse the processor, being careful not to over mix.
- When you can pinch some dough and it sticks together, it is ready (even if it looks like it is not totally mixed.
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead briefly to make sure all the dough is incorporated.
- Form the dough into two 1" thick rounds and cut into 6 wedges each.
- Transfer wedges to your prepared baking sheet, giving at least 2" spacing between them.
- If you desire, you can baste with heavy cream and sprinkle with course sugar.
- Bake for about 25 minutes or until tops of scones are golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes.
- Serve with lemon curd.
I also use this recipe when making my You're the Best Mom in the World Strawberry Shortcake.
Alternatively, you could add orange zest instead of the lemon and add 3/4 cup dried cranberries for something more festive. Cranberries and orange go wonderfully together, especially in the fall and winter season.
This recipe is wonderful with the addition of fresh blueberries folded in for the summer. Lemon and blueberry is a winning combination.
Preparing the Berries and Whipped Cream for the Strawberry Shortcake
Using two pints of fresh berries, hull and cut in half. Remove 1/4 of the berries and gently macerate with a fork to release the juices. Add 1/2 cup of sugar and the zest of one organic lemon and stir. Add the remaining sliced berries, evenly coat, cover, and set aside. Allow the berries to sit for about a half hour to mingle and develop the juices.
The Whipped Cream:
To your standing mixer fitted with the whisk, or bowl with a hand mixer, add 2 cups of organic heavy whipping cream (preferably not ultra-pasteurized). Whip on high until it thickens. Be careful not to over whip and churn your cream into butter. When it has thickened, add 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract and 1 Tablespoon of pure maple syrup and whip to incorporate. This lightly-sweetened cream will balance out the sweet flavor of the berries.
Assembling the Strawberry Shortcakes
Cut the top off of a scone and place the bottom on a plate. Spoon on the strawberries and juices and then dollop with the whipped cream. Place the topside of the scone on top and garnish with s sprig of mint. These shortcakes are so easy to assemble and delicious to eat…especially on a warm evening served for dinner. EnJOY!