Strawberry Cornmeal Shortcakes
This Southern variation on the classic sounds charming, but getting the biscuits and filling just right was a challenge.
Why This Recipe Works
For this summer classic, the addition of cornmeal to the biscuits produced not only a sweet, nutty flavor but also a delicate crunch, which nicely offset the tender berry-and-cream filling. We gently tossed thinly sliced strawberries with a bit of sugar and let the mixture sit until the strawberries had released their juice and created a sweet syrup. Some bright lemon juice and a bit of salt enhanced the fresh berry flavor. We were careful not to add too much cornmeal to the biscuits to keep them light and airy; a 1:3 ratio of cornmeal to flour worked best. We also relied on a proven test kitchen trick: We combined melted butter with cold buttermilk before stirring it into the dry ingredients. The butter clumps in the buttermilk, and the clumps then create steam during baking to produce light, airy biscuits.