Tag Archives: cream

Strawberry-Basil Shortcake

Strawberries! The farmers are waving pickers in by the droves as these red rubies grow juicy under the sun. Strawberries are a great way to celebrate spring, and this twist on the traditional strawberry shortcake is a wonderfully herbal surprise for your spring entertaining.

I changed Martha’s recipe a bit, adding more of the basil cream to the dough in the shortcake – GREAT idea. The cake is very buttery and flaky and delicious. I had never made it in one big cake before and it was very pretty! Quite the WOW factor when you serve. If you love basil and love strawberries, you obviously will love this dessert.

Adapted from Martha Stewart Living

Strawberry-Basil Shortcake


  • 2 1/4 cups cold heavy cream, plus 2 tablespoons, for brushing
  • 20 large basil leaves, plus 1/3 cup small or torn basil leaves
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more if needed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • Salt
  • 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 cups sliced strawberries (1 pound 4 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  1. Bring cream to a gentle simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bruise large basil leaves by hitting repeatedly with the dull side of a knife, and stir into cream. Remove from heat, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let steep for 25 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve, pressing solids to extract liquid. Refrigerate until very cold, at least 5 hours (I did mine a couple days ahead).
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Whisk together flour, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, the baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter or rub in with your fingers. (The largest pieces should be the size of small peas.)
  3. Whisk together 3/4 cup of the basil cream, the eggs, and vanilla. Stir into flour using a fork until ingredients are moistened but not fully incorporated. (Do not overmix.)
  4. Turn dough out onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and pat into a 9 1/2-inch circle. Brush dough with 2 tablespoons cream, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar.
  5. Bake until light golden brown and just cooked through, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely (or not, I was hungry!)
  6. Meanwhile, macerate strawberries with remaining 1/4 cup sugar, plus more if needed, depending on sweetness, stirring occasionally.
  7. Toss berries with small basil leaves. Whisk basil cream with confectioners’ sugar in the chilled bowl of a mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.
  8. Mound basil cream on shortcake. Spoon berries with juice over top.

All you have left to do is enjoy, friends! xoxo


Rhubarb fool

Final Rhubarb Challenge! I don’t know about you all, but I am totally over rhubarb. It doesn’t grow well in The South, so I apparently can’t find it fresh. As my Arkansas aunt once said, “Rhubarb? That’s Yankee food!”

Alas, it will always hold a place in my heart, which brings me to the rhubarb fool. This recipe came from Cook’s Illustrated. I still have no idea what a “fool” is in regards to food, but it seems fitting that I am ending this challenge with a dish that points a finger at me and laughs.

Rhubarb Fool


  • 2 1/4 lbs. rhubarb, trimmed and cut into cubes (we all know I used frozen)
  • 1/3 c. juice from one orange
  • 1 c. plus 2 T sugar
  • Pinch table salt
  • 2 c. cold heavy cream

Bring orange juice, 3/4 c. sugar, salt to boil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add rhubarb and return to boil, then reduce to medium-low and simmer, stirring twice, until rhubarb is tender, 7-10 min. Transfer to bowl, cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour or overnight.

Beat cream and remaining sugar until soft peaks form, 1-3 min.

To assemble, spoon 1/4 c. rhubarb into a glass, then layer whipped cream and then more rhubarb. Finish with whipped cream. You can serve this in bowls, parfait glasses, wine glasses … or you could be ridiculous like me and buy mini trifle dishes just for this purpose!

Yes, it was yummy. Like eating the inside of a rhubarb pie, mixed with cream. Tell me how that could be bad?

Until the next challenge, friends…enjoy! xoox

Classic strawberry shortcake

One of life’s greatest treasures is the combination of strawberries and cream. There is just something about that slightly fuzzy, beaded berry that goes perfectly with a dollop of whipped cream sweetened with vanilla. The shortcakes are just the method for holding this beauty together.

Every spring, I get a craving for strawberry recipes. This weekend, it was for a classic dish that I’ve actually never made before. The cakes are done simply with flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cream, egg and butter. They bake up nice and firm, much unlike the spongy things you buy at the store. Paired with macerated strawberries and cream, you have a delicious dessert for a warm spring day like we had this weekend.

Strawberry shortcake, adapted from Best Recipes


  • 1 package strawberries, cleaned and sliced
  • 6 T sugar
  • 2 c. flour
  • 5 T sugar
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 stick cold, unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 c. plus 1 T half-and-half
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Mix the strawberries and sugar, set aside to macerate.

Preheat oven to 425.

In food processor, mix flour, 3 T sugar, baking powder and salt. Add butter and pulse until resembles coarse meal, 15 pulses. Transfer to medium bowl.

Mix beaten egg with half-and-half, pour into flour mixture. Combine with rubber spatula until large clumps form. Turn onto floured work surface and knead until it comes together. Pat dough into 3/4-inch thick rectangle. Using biscuit cutter or top of glass, cut six rounds. Place on baking sheet, brush with egg white and sprinkle with remaining 2 T sugar.

Bake until golden brown, 15-20 min. Cool on wire rack.

Meanwhile, whip heavy cream with sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.

To assemble, slice biscuits in half, spoon on strawberries and cream, topping with other half.

These get better as they sit because the juices make the biscuits softer. Enjoy, friends! xoox

Pumpkin-bourbon bread pudding with maple cream

Cobbled pumpkin goodness

Cobbled pumpkin goodness

Pumpkin Challenge No. 6!!! Are you guys getting tired of this yet? We only have a couple more to go, and my waistline would like to thank me for that fact. Why does pumpkin always have to be in the most rich, fattening recipes?

Alas, fattening = delicious. This is a recipe that I got from Smitten Kitchen. Although this time I made it, I used fresh brioche from Ollie’s Bakery. It was a hugely awesome change. That dense, eggy bread all baked in a custard … heaven. I also left the crusts on for added color, and because I’m too old to be cutting off my crusts (remember that, mom?).

Ollie's brioche

Ollie's brioche

I also put way too much bourbon in. Probably 1/4 c. instead of the 2 T that they recommend. But I thought, we bought all this Maker’s Mark…why waste it? I would recommend holding off, because it can be really strong. Not the worst thing to happen, but still.

SK originally got this recipe from Gourmet (RIP).


1 c. heavy cream plus 1/2 c. whole milk

3/4 c. canned pumpkin

1/2 c. sugar

2 eggs plus 1 yolk

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/8 tsp. ground allspice

Pinch ground cloves

2 T bourbon

5 cups cubed day-old bread (3/4 loaf for me)

3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted.


Preheat oven to 350 with rack in the middle.

In a large bowl, whisk pumpkin, cream, milk, sugar, eggs, yolk, salt, spices and bourbon.

In another bowl, toss the bread with butter. Add the pumpkin mixture and toss gently to coat. Transfer to an ungreased 8-inch square baking dish. Bake until the custard is set, 25-30 min.

Dark parts are the brioche crusts

Dark parts are the brioche crusts

This can be served warm or cool. I whipped up a cup of heavy cream with a splash of maple syrup to put on top and I thought the maple was a nice addition. Reminded me of another recipe from the pumpkin challenge.

Brioche layers

Brioche layers

Enjoy, friends! xoxo