Right after 'Dewberry Pie', this is the official dessert of spring!!!
For the shortcakes:
1 3/4 Cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 Tsp. salt
8 Tbs. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3⁄4 Cup buttermilk
1 Tsp. vanilla extract
For the strawberries:
4 cups strawberries, hulled and cut into slices
1/4 inch thick
1⁄4 cup sugar
For the whipped cream:
3/4 cup heavy cream, well chilled
2 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
To make the shortcakes, preheat an oven to 400°F.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder & salt until well blended. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until the pieces are no larger than peas. Add the buttermilk & vanilla, then gently combine with a fork until the flour is just moistened & the ingredients are blended.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently press the dough into a thick rectangle about 6 by 4 inches. Using a large sharp knife, cut the dough into 6 equal squares.
Place the squares on a parchment papered baking sheet, spacing them well apart. Bake until they are puffed & golden brown (15 to 18 minutes). Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Meanwhile, prepare the strawberries: In a bowl, toss together the strawberries & sugar with a fork, lightly crushing some of the berries. Cover the berries & refrigerate until well chilled.
To make the whipped cream, in a deep bowl, combine the cream, sugar & vanilla. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Cover the bowl & refrigerate until ready to serve or for up to 2 hours.
To serve, split the shortcakes in half horizontally & place the bottom halves (cut side up) on serving plates. Spoon some of the strawberries, including the juices, over each half & top with the whipped cream. Top with the remaining shortcake halves (cut side down).