Strawberry Shortcake for a Crowd
Strawberry shortcake always reminds me of weekends growing up in Mississippi. Back then, my grandmother would stuff her shortcakes with fruit from her garden—blackberries, strawberries, even pitted muscadines, a tough-skinned Southern grape—and lots of whipped cream (or, to be honest, Cool Whip). But the base was always a single buttery, delicious biscuit.But what's better than individual biscuits stuffed with strawberries and whipped cream? Well, if you're asking me, it's a version that still delivers a gorgeous dessert and serves the same amount of people but is much simpler to make. It doesn't get much easier than strawberry shortcake, but this family-style version I created definitely makes it foolproof. Instead of punching out all those small cakes, the dough is pressed into a pan and baked as one giant cake, which is much quicker and less stress-inducing, especially when you want an effortless dessert for a weeknight that truly takes no time at all.Traditional shortcake dough is dry and crumbly like a scone, but here I return to my Southern upbringing to make the shortcake more of the buttery, buttermilk-tangy biscuit that I remember from growing up, complete with crispy edges and fluffy insides, all of which makes it richer and more indulgent. The giant biscuit-cake is then split and stuffed with a pile of fresh strawberries and fluffy whipped cream, kind of like a rustic version of British Victoria sponge, only much more tender and delightfully messy. Cut it into wedges and serve up a strawberry shortcake that is modern not only in looks, but also in how easy it is on the cook. It's the type of dessert that invites the eater to dig in with wild abandon and keep the pinkies down as much as possible. My grandma would approve.