You don’t need to be a pastry chef to master homemade Strawberry Shortcake. With some fresh berries, a little biscuit recipe know-how, and this foolproof shortcake recipe to guide you along, you're all set to stun with this classic dessert recipe.
In a medium bowl (at least 2 cups), combine strawberries, sugar, and salt and stir well. Cover and refrigerate while preparing the biscuits (may be done up to 24 hours in advance).
(This is a great time to put your metal mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer to chill for the whipped cream).
To make the biscuits:
Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. Stir in cream until combined, about 30 seconds.
Turn out dough onto lightly floured counter, gather into ball, and knead briefly until smooth, about 30 seconds. If dough is too crumbly, add an additional teaspoon of heavy cream to get smooth dough (I added 1 extra teaspoon of cream).
Shape dough into 3/4-inch-thick round. Dip a 2 1/2-inch round biscuit cutter in flour and cut out biscuits, recombining scraps as needed to yield 6 biscuits. Place rounds on prepared baking sheet. (Baking sheet with biscuits can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 2 hours.)
Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Transfer to wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes.
To make the whipped cream:
For best results, chill metal mixing bowl and whisk attachment in freezer for 10 to 15 minutes if you haven't already done so.
In chilled mixing bowl, combine cream, sugar, and vanilla (if using) and beat until soft peaks form, about 3 to 4 minutes, or until stiff peaks form, about 6 to 8 minutes (depending on your preference).
Whipped cream can be stored covered, in the refrigerator, for up to 10 hours.
To assemble the shortcakes:
Split each biscuit in half and place bottom half on a plate. Top with 1/4 cup strawberries and a heaping 1/4 cup whipped cream each. Top with remaining biscuit halves.
Sugar: After repeated trials, I've landed on 2 teaspoons of sweetener as the sweet spot for the homemade biscuits for this shortcake recipe. You'll also want to have about 1/4 handy to macerate the strawberries; start with 2 tablespoons tossed with the berries and salt, then add more to taste.
Heavy cream: You'll need 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons for the biscuit dough, plus 1 cup very cold cream to whip for the topping.