Balsamic Strawberry Shortcake
This spring, it’s not just the clothes that are colorful; farmers’ markets are overflowing with gorgeous fruits and vegetables. And since May is National Strawberry Month, we’re sharing Chef Michael Northern’s signature shortcake recipe from our Nordstrom Flavors cookbook.
“Over the last few years, American cooks have discovered what Italians have known for years: balsamic vinegar goes great with strawberries. Here, old-fashion strawberry shortcake is given a dramatic twist with a sweet-tart glaze made with balsamic vinegar and sugar. The recipe also illustrates the umami talents of balsamic vinegar as a flavor enhancer.” —Chef Michael Northern
2/3 cup (1 1/4 sticks) ice cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus more for the pan
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the pan
1/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream, plus more for brushing the shortcakes
1/2 cup buttermilk
SWEETENED WHIPPED CREAM
3 cups heavy (whipping) cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 pints strawberries, hulled and sliced lengthwise
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Powdered Sugar for Dusting
To make the Shortcakes, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a rimmed baking sheet. Dust the pan with flour and tap out the excess.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, sift together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. Scatter the butter over the flour mixture. Affix the bowl to the mixer, and fit the mixer with the paddle attachment. On medium speed, beat until the mixture is crumbly, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. The mixture will come together in a ball. In a small bowl mix together the cream and buttermilk. On low speed, gradually beat in the cream mixture until a stiff, moist dough forms.
Using 1/2 cup of the dough for each shortcake (a 4-ounce spring-action ice cream scoop works well, or use a dry measuring cup), portion the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing the portions 1 inch apart, to make 8 shortcakes total. Brush the tops with cream, and sprinkle lightly with granulated sugar.
Bake the shortcakes are lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet on a wire cake rack for 5 minutes. Transfer the shortcakes to the rack and let cool completely.
To make the Sweetened Whipped Cream, in a chilled large bowl, using the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a handheld mixer, whip the cream on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and whip until the cream holds firm peaks. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the Strawberry Topping, in a bowl, combine the strawberries and granulated sugar and toss gently to coat evenly. Let stand until the berries release some juices, about 30 minutes.
To make the Balsamic Drizzle, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the vinegar and granulated sugar and bring to a simmer. Cook until the mixture has reduced by nearly half and the glaze is syrupy, about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly. (If the glaze thickens too much dilute it with warm water until it is the consistency of chocolate syrup.)
For each serving, slice a shortcake in half horizontally and place the bottom, cut side up, on a dessert plate. Top with some strawberries and then with some whipped cream. Using a spoon, streak the berries and cream with a fine drizzle of the balsamic glaze. Cap with the top half of the shortcake. Using a fine mesh sieve, dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.
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