Growing up I always thought strawberry shortcakes were composed of, well, cake. Why would someone call it a shortcake if cake was not the starring ingredient? While there are versions that pair strawberries with cake, these fluffy, flaky biscuits are made in a large muffin tin, which give each one a crisp, clean edge. Once they’re ready, they’re sliced and filled with a bright, glossy strawberry mixture. I made a basil whipped cream for these shortcakes for an earthy note, but you can easily opt for the classic, plain (and delicious) whipped cream.
Baking Powder Biscuits
Basil Whipped Cream
*If preparing basil whipped cream, infuse basil into whipping cream at least 3-4 hours ahead of time.
For the baking powder biscuits, preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a large muffin tin. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, vanilla, salt and baking powder. Using a pastry blender or a fork, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs of consistent size. The butter should be pea-sized bits throughout the mixture. Stir in milk until dough starts to form a ball. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1-inch thickness. Use a circle cookie cutter to cut out the biscuits. Note: When cutting biscuits with a cookie cutter, do not twist the cookie cutter once you have cut into the biscuit dough. This will “seal” the edges of the biscuit and prevent optimum rising! Place each biscuit into a muffin tin cavity. Brush the top of each biscuit with heavy cream and sprinkle on coarse sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 – 22 minutes, until tops are golden.
For the strawberry filling, in a microwave safe bowl, warm apple jelly. Toss strawberries in apple jelly until all pieces are covered. Set aside.
For the basil whipped cream, heat cream over medium temperature in a small saucepan until it just starts to simmer. Remove from heat and toss in basil leaves. Allow mixture to sit at room temperature about 30 minutes, uncovered. Pour the cream through a mesh strainer into a small bowl to remove the leaves. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours before using. Once chilled, pour basil whipping cream into the stand of a standing mixer. Whisk until stiff peaks form.
Before assembling, warm the biscuits lightly if they have cooled. Split shortcakes and divide strawberry and whipped cream among bottoms. Close with shortcake tops. Serve warm.