This is the result of a bad day. And the very best part. When I find moping becoming tiresome, I cook. This week we had plenty of strawberries from our CSA delivery that were a bit overripe. And enough thyme to… well, I don’t know what exactly you do with loads of thyme. But I decided on scones (or as we say here in the States, shortcakes or sweet biscuits).
The recipe is a simple one (inspired by a recent issue of Bon Appetit, but with enough modifications that the original recipe would be unrecognizable). So if you’re in the mood for something fast, fresh, and summer-y, I suggest this healthy take on strawberry shortcakes.
Thyme Shortcakes with Fresh Strawberries
1 quart (2 cups) fresh strawberries
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon water
3/4 cup fresh buttermilk (whole milk and lemon juice, see prep)
1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme
2 cups stone ground wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chilled butter (chopped into small cubes)
fresh unsweetened whipped cream
First, prepare the buttermilk. Add 3/4 tablespoon lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Then pour whole milk into the cup until you have 3/4 cup of liquid. Let stand on the counter for 5 minutes, then cover and refrigerate.
Next, the berries. Add the strawberries, powdered sugar, and water to a saucepan. On medium-low heat, stir gently for 10-15 minutes, until a simple syrup has formed and the berries are soft. Remove from the heat, cover, and refrigerate.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit. Finally, the shortcakes. Retrieve the buttermilk from the fridge and stir in the fresh thyme. In another large bowl, mix together the whole wheat flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Then cut in the butter (I find it easiest to use my hands) until dry, fine, and crumbly. Then add the thyme buttermilk and combine with a fork (do not over-stir!). Turn the bowl of dough over on to a floured surface and knead 3-4 times (do not over-knead! Especially because we are using wheat flour, which is much denser than all purpose to begin with). Roll the dough out with your hands, to be about 1 inch thick. Use an inverted juice class to punch biscuit shapes into the dough. Re-roll the scraps once, and cut again. This makes approximately 6-8 shortcakes, depending on the size of the class. On a baking sheet with a Silpat mat (or parchment paper if you don’t have Silpat), bake for 12-14 minutes.
After letting the shortcakes cool, slice them in half horizontally. Spoon some of the strawberries and syrup on to one side of the shortcake, then close like a sandwich. Add a scoop of fresh whipped cream if you want, or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!