Make this while the getting’s still good. Serves 6 to 8.
2 quarts fresh strawberries, tops cut off, sliced
1/3 + 1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk (I like Kate’s)
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 pint heavy cream
2 Tbsp. confectioner’s sugar
Vanilla extract, to taste
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, gently stir together the sliced strawberries with 1/3 cup sugar (or more, depending on the sweetness of the fruit). Set aside covered at room temperature while making the shortcakes.
In the bowl of a food processor, mix together the flour, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the butter pieces and process 15-20 seconds until the butter pieces are pea-sized or smaller. Transfer to a medium bowl. (You can also skip the food processor and cut in the butter by hand or with a pastry blender.) Add the buttermilk and mix until just blended. Drop large, heaping spoonfuls of the batter in mounds onto the prepared pans at least two inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the tops start to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.
When ready to serve, whip the cream with the confectioner’s sugar and a dash of vanilla with an electric mixer on medium for a few minutes, just until smooth and mounding. To assemble, split the shortcakes in half horizontally. Over the bottom half, spoon lots of strawberries and their juices as well as a generous dollop of whipped cream. Replace the top half of the shortcake a bit askew. Pass remaining strawberries and whipped cream at the table.