Tasty shortcakes are the bases for strawberry desserts

RECIPE FINDER

June 07, 1995|By Ellen Hawks | Ellen Hawks,Sun Staff Writer

Strawberries, strawberries, strawberries. Just saying the word brings a sweet satisfaction. And now's the time of year to try some new recipes and take advantage of all the fresh local produce.

Edmund L. Mitzel of Towson wrote, "I remember strawberries and cream served on a biscuit that had a unique flavor. It was not sweet and it was somewhat crusty."

An old-fashioned strawberry shortcake recipe came from Eleanor Holliday Cross of Baltimore who noted that her recipe had been published in the Walters Art Gallery cookbook, "Private Collections: A Culinary Treasure."

A simpler recipe for a "shortcake for strawberries" came from Yola Caci of Auburn, N.Y., who wrote that it was her family's favorite and "in fact, I have it in the oven now for dinner tonight."

Cross' Old-Fashioned

Strawberry Shortcake

Serves 6

3 pints strawberries

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup shortening

1/3 cup light cream

3 eggs

butter or margarine

additional cream for serving

To prepare strawberries, wash, hull and slice. Mash slightly with a fork and sweeten to taste using the 1/2 cup of sugar. Let stand at room temperature for an hour or so to draw out the juices.

For the shortcake, sift the flour with the baking powder, salt and remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar. Cut in the shortening until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the light cream mixed with the eggs. Stir the ingredients together until all the flour has been moistened.

Turn out on a slightly floured board and knead the dough for half a minute. Shape into a circle about 1/4 -inch thick and 8 inches in diameter. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees 15 to 20 minutes.

Split while hot and spread the bottom layer with butter. Top with half the strawberries. Add other half and cover with remaining strawberries. Pass more cream in a pitcher or serve whipped cream.

Caci's Shortcake

for Strawberries

2 cups flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup butter or margarine (about 8 tablespoons)

1/2 cup milk

Mix all ingredients and divide dough into two parts. Put half on bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan and dot with butter or margarine. Put the other half on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Split and fill with strawberries and top with whipped cream.

Merle Sturm of Baltimore makes a similar shortcake for strawberries which she notes her mother, "now age 97 made when the Maryland berries came in season and it was one of the joys of my childhood. I am still making it. I don't believe we used cream. This was always served in soup bowls with milk and a generous sprinkle of sugar on top and was not eaten as a dessert. With large portions it easily became a filling meal."

Recipe requests

* George G. Everett of Berlin wants two recipes. One is for bread pancakes "in which the bread crumbs are soaked in milk and mixed with a small amount of flour, an egg and melted butter, more like crepes than a pancake. And I'd like to have an applesauce cake that is referred to as 'Aunt (Somebody's) Spice Cake.' It contained bits of chopped candied ginger," he wrote.

* Joane Mueller of Forest Hill is seeking a "crunchy, chocolate wafer-type cookie which would be suitable for ice cream sandwiches."

* Jane Dannemann of Baltimore writes. "I am looking for a recipe for string bean soup. I know it has sour cream in it but that is all I know."

* Mary R. Lee of Baltimore wants a peach cobbler recipe. It is her husband's favorite.

* Mary L. Miller of Baltimore wants an apple cobbler recipe. A family favorite.

* Muriel Wood of Longmont, Colo., is looking for a favorite soup recipe which she lost. "It was filled with healthy ingredients and I called it Parsnip/Lentil Soup but that wasn't the real name. It had tomatoes and tomato juice and carrots. After 2 years of searching I'm turning for help. I believe it was first published in Glamour magazine in the '80s."

Chef Gilles Syglowski, with the help of chefs and students at the Baltimore International Culinary College, tested these recipes.

If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a long-gone recipe, maybe we can help. Write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

If you send in more than one recipe, put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and phone number. Please note the number of servings which each recipe makes. We will test the first 12 recipes sent to us.

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