Strawberry Lavender Shortcake

by Young Victorians

Summer in San Francisco leaves much to be desired. Most days are 60 and overcast, and for whatever cruel reason, the rare 70 and sunny day always seems to fall during the work week. Luckily, I console myself with the prolonged strawberry season at the farmers markets. You can find delicious, fresh strawberries from May – August. So on a cool summer evening, I baked strawberry, lavender shortcake. The lavender adds an elegant touch to a classic dessert. And since there is never an occasion to wear a swimsuit in San Francisco, why not eat this dessert all summer? Recipe after the jump.

The Shortcake

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2/3 cup sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter cut into small cubes, plus more melted for brushing
  • 1 teaspoon lavender
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk

The Berries

  • 1+ pound of fresh, local strawberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar, or less, depending on how ripe your berries are

The Cream

  • Heavy Cream, 2 to 3 cups
  • Scant 1/3 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pre-heat the oven to 400. Combine all the dry ingredients except for the lavender in a large bowl and whisk them together well.  I used my stand mixer (thank again Mom and Dad for the best birthday present ever). Cut in the butter until the mixture is coarse crumbs, and then stir in the lavender. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the milk.  Stir it until the dough pulls away from the edge of the bowl being careful not to over mix the dough.

Grease a baking sheet. Divide  the dough  into a dozen round pieces and place it on the baking sheet. Brush the top of each with a little melted butter. Dust with a little sugar.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden. Cool on a rack.

Meanwhile, start on the strawberries.  Rinse them, slice them and sprinkle them with the sugar. Refrigerate for a while before serving.  The sugar and strawberry combination will make a delicious, light syrup.

Just before serving, whip the cream.  Make sure the cream is very cold. Beat the cream at high speed just until it starts to thicken.  Add the sugar and vanilla and continue beating until stiff peaks form.

Cut the cooled shortcake in half, top it with berries, and finish with whipped cream! Yum!



(photo by juliette)