Here it is again, strawberry season. All hail strawberries! All hail their delicious ripeness! All hail our phoning this dessert in! Or, as I like to call it, Rachel Ray-ing dessert. That’s right, Rachel Ray-ing, a new verb!
Now, there’s nothing wrong with Rachel Ray’s inability to bake, which she talks about regularly on her show. It always made me giggle when she’d admit for the millionth time that she doesn’t bake. Who cares if you don’t bake, right? Some folks are just stronger in some areas than others, we’re all that way. And sometimes we want a dessert that is as quick as possible yet still satisfying. Rachel Ray has kind of solidified that it’s OK to cut corners and still say, “Hey, I made this!”
Know what that stuff is in that square glass baking dish? Now, don’t fall out of your chair, but that’s Bisquick brand’s shortcake recipe. I confess, I love the stuff. It’s what my mom always baked up when we had strawberries and shortcake. Yes, a boxed mix plus some butter, sugar and milk. I still make it to this day because, thanks to mom, it is such a comfort thing. While we do love to bake from scratch here at FFA, it is quickly moving into the Long Hot Summer Complete With Crunchy Grass. That means we will encourage folks to cut corners.
And yes, I know you still technically have to bake the Bisquick stuff, but it is still quicker than this shortcake we made when first opening FFA. both are good, we just trade ’em out with the seasons sometimes. And when berries are at the height of their own season, in the hotter months, I will has me a shortcut, oh yes. I made it the evening before when it would get my kitchen less hot.
Macerate your berries, people! No, that’s nothing dirty, it’s merely adding a little sugar to the sliced berries, which will not only sweeten them but also get them to release a natural strawberry sauce. Trust us, it is YUM.
This is four cups of berries and 1/4 cup of sugar. You don’t need much sugar at all. And if you found good berries, they will be nice and sweet with a slight tartness. You only need a little sugar to set that natural sweetness off.
We did go a little along the extra mile route by making fresh whipped cream. It just seemed like the right thing to do and it really takes little to no time – if you have a good stand or hand mixer. If not, no worries, we instead direct you to the shelf next to the milk where they have canned whipped cream. Not a problem.
After crumbling the shortcake, spoon some berries into your dish, then a layer of the shortcake.
After a layer of the whipped cream, just repeat the layer sequence a second time.
End it all with just a couple more berries and some of that juice from macerating the berries. You’re ready to dig in!
Complicated desserts can be seriously delicious, but sometimes we just need something easier and still satisfying. This is one of the latter kind. You have a little bit of a compromise between the boxed Bisquick mix shortcake and fresh whipped cream. The peak season berries just marry the two perfectly. Easy to put together, easy to enjoy!
Strawberry Shortcake Parfaits
from Full Fork Ahead (though we’ve linked the Bisquick recipe for full disclosure)
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: About 15-20 minutes Level: Easy Serves: 6-8
1 recipe Bisquick brand shortcake for which you will need:
- 2 1/3 c. Bisquick
- 3 tbsp. sugar
- 3 tbsp. melted butter
- 1/2 c. milk
For the berries and whipped cream:
- 4 cups hulled, sliced strawberries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1-2 cups heavy whipping cream (depending on how many parfaits you will make)
- 1-2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- Confectioner’s sugar, optional (for whipped cream)
To make the shortcake:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all the shortcake ingredients and spread evenly into an 8×8 oven-safe casserole dish. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Cool before handling.
To make the berries and whipped cream:
Combine the berries and 1/4 cup sugar in a bowl and let sit for at least thirty minutes. Meanwhile, crumble the shortcake and set aside.
In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, mix the whipping cream, vanilla extract (one tablespoon if you’re doing 1 cup of cream, 2 tablespoons for two cups of cream) and about two to three tablespoons confectioner’s sugar, or to taste. Whip until the cream just begins to hold it’s shape when holding the beaters in an upright position. The cream will be smooth and still a little soft, not stiff.
Start layering the three main layers: two to three tablespoons of berries, two to three tablespoons of the crumbled shortcake, as much whipped cream as you can handle next and repeat the layers a second time. End with a couple of berries on top and spoon some of the reserved berry juice over it all.
If you don’t want to bake anything at all – we understand. Use whatever your favorite store-bought treat is that might work: pound cake, angel food cake, whatever sounds good to you.
The dishes we used were 7 ounces each, which was the perfect size. As you can see, you can overfill them a little but still keep the dessert portion fairly reasonable.