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Berry well: Enjoy the final days of strawberry season making this classic shortcake recipe

By Wolfgang Puck, Tribune Content Agency on

1 pint organic, ripe strawberries, hulled and cut lengthwise into halves or quarters depending on size

4 fresh mint sprigs, for garnish, optional

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C).

Meanwhile, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together the egg and cream. Set aside.

Add the chilled butter pieces to the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until the butter resembles flattened walnuts, about 2 minutes. Turn off the machine and add the wet ingredients; then, mix on low speed again just until the dough comes together.

Dust a clean work surface with flour and scoop out the dough onto the floured surface. With clean hands, fold and flatten the dough over itself to form a uniform square.

Dust the dough with more flour and, with a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a uniformly thick square slightly larger than 6 by 6 inches (15 by 15 cm).

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Using a 3-inch (7.5-cm) cookie cutter or biscuit cutter, cut the dough into rounds, placing them on a nonstick baking sheet. Brush their tops with some milk and sprinkle generously with sugar.

Bake the shortcakes in the preheated oven for 10 minutes; then, rotate the pan back to front in the oven and continue baking until the shortcakes are deep golden brown, about 5 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and leave to cool to room temperature.

To assemble, whip the cream in the stand mixer or with a hand-held mixer until it forms soft peaks that droop when the beaters are lifted out. Do not overmix.

With a sharp, serrated knife, carefully cut each shortcake horizontally in half. Place each bottom half on a serving plate.

Generously spoon whipped cream over the four bottom halves of shortcake. Divide the strawberries evenly over the whipped cream. Place the top halves of the shortcake on top. Serve immediately, garnished with mint sprigs if you like.



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