13 April 2012

Strawberry shortcake...sort of.

Here's something that I only learned very recently: shortcake is not actually cake! Instead it's an American-style biscuit-pastry made with sugar, so all those times I've heard someone mention "strawberry shortcake" I was in fact hearing about a sweetened Popeyes biscuit with strawberries on top. Why do I find that delicious instead of appropriately disgusting?

strawberry turnovers, fast and easy puff pastry

The strawberry pastries I made a couple weekends ago weren't quite shortcake, but there was a suspiciously biscuit-like pastry involved, along with a tart strawberry filling, and I dare say they tasted just as good.

The pastry was made according to a recipe from an excellent website, King Arthur Flour, which is a resource I use a lot when I want to try out new foods, or when I'm just looking for good baking advice. It was a "fast and easy puff pastry" recipe, which means that of course it really wasn't puff pastry at all. (I've made the real deal with my sister exactly one time, and it was neither fast nor easy!) I made a basic shortcrust dough - flour, butter, salt, baking powder, with the interesting addition of yogourt - and then rolled it out and folded it to create layers, the way I sometimes do with biscuits.

fake puff pastry dough, rolling out shortcrust

After letting the dough rest in the freezer for a week (for convenience, not out of necessity - I think you can get away with a 30-minute chill in the fridge) I was ready to make the turnovers. I sliced up some strawberries, showered them with icing sugar, a bit of cinnamon, and just a pinch of salt, and let them rest while I rolled out the pastry dough.

sliced strawberries

Preheated the oven to about 400 Fahrenheit and cut the dough into 4-inch squares. Loaded the squares with a couple spoons of filling each, folded them into triangles, crimped the edges and slashed the tops, and then finally got them in - and out - of the oven!

flaky buttery strawberry turnovers

Glazing these with a bit of icing sugar and water is a great idea. Eat warm with milk.

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