Strawberry Shortcake with Sherry and Lavender

Floral twist on a classic.

Strawberry Shortcake with Sherry and Lavender
It’s the season of bright, beautiful, and delicious summer fruit desserts and a classic standby is strawberry shortcake.

Shortcake itself is also very simple to make and can be paired with unlimited combinations of summer fruit and other ingredients. I took the classic strawberry and added lavender here, but you could also do other variations such as nectarine and basil, plum and ginger, or raspberry and thyme - endless possibilities really. Also, I find that anytime I make this dessert, there’s always several people who claim it to be their longtime favorite. 

Lavender is pretty easy to come by in California - let your nose lead the way.

Lavender is pretty easy to come by in California - let your nose lead the way.

  • 3 pints strawberries, rinsed, stems removed, and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons medium bodied sherry 
  • 2 tablespoons foraged or purchased lavender, petals pulled from stems 
  • 2 tablespoons + 1/2 cup sugar
  • Zest from 1 lemon
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1 -1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Toss strawberries with sherry, lavender, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and lemon zest and refrigerate.

Whisk together 1/2 cup sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Add butter and blend with pastry blender or fingers until mixture is like a coarse meal with some pea-sized bits of butter. 

In a separate bowl, whisk 1/2 cup cream with eggs, pour over flour mixture and stir together just until a batter is formed.

Gently pack a lightly floured 1/2 or 1/4 cup measure (depending on how large you want the shortcakes to be) with dough to form a circle, invert, and tap out onto baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and bake about 20 minutes, until golden. Transfer to cooling rack and allow to sit about 15 minutes.

Beat remaining 1 cup heavy cream and 1 tablespoon sugar until soft peaks form. Beat in vanilla. 

Serve cooled shortcakes with a dollop of whipped cream and a scoop of strawberries.