"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Strawberry Shortcake

Is there any dessert more quintessentially "summer" than Strawberry Shortcake?

I fall in love with it every time I eat it. How did I forget about strawberry shortcake? I'll ask myself. But I do, lured away by the charms of pies, tarts and cakes.

Strawberry shortcake is one of those desserts where the sum of the whole is greater than the parts. None of the elements--the cream biscuits, the macerated berries, the lightly sweetened whipped sour + heavy cream--can stand on their own. Together, it's summer on the tongue.

Not having made strawberry shortcake in, like, a decade, I was a little worried about the biscuits, which have not one jot of sugar in them. I was equally worried about the whipped sour + heavy cream, which has mere 1 1/2 tablespoons of confectioners sugar.

But the macerated berries more than make up for that lack--they balance each other out, and really, it's just perfect.

Could I be more fulsome? Probably not. Oh, wait. They're the ideal size--three inches in diameter. Not too huge, which sometimes you'll see with the biscuits in other recipes. Who wants biscuits the size of your face? Only diners in certain chain restaurants that shall remain unnamed.

Any other praises I can sing? I think I covered them all. No wait--one more. It's easy, people. The whole thing takes about half an hour, and you've got delicious dessert for a small crowd.

Minor technical note: the recipe on epicurious takes you to a buttermilk biscuit page, but in the book it's a very simple cream biscuit (flour, baking powder, salt, cream). You do what you want, but the cream biscuit is super easy and it gets my vote.


Kevin said...

This recipe has a special surprise for Gourmet cookers, the cream biscuits are two recipes in one. The word for word same recipe appears on page 596, and 814. Consider yourself that much closer to finishing.

Eve said...

oooooohhhh... my mouth is watering

Anonymous said...

DIY raspberry shortcake (with vanilla gelato) was served at A. and L.'s "night before" dinner in Seattle.