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Friday, July 01, 2016

Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake for Canada Day 2016


Happy Canada Day everyone!  I'm a bit late getting this posted but we'll be eating these delectable Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcakes for dessert this lovely Canada Day.  

We are having a rather low key celebration today. I was up early and hung out our Canadian Flags. It was lightly raining this morning but it has so far turned out to be a gloriously beautiful day in between the threatening dark clouds.  We've been promised a little more rain but so far it has remained dry since this morning.   


We usually have a houseful of kids and grandkids with pools, picnics and barbeques but it's just Don, Nan and myself for most of the day. Don's brother and brother-in-law are leaving on a week-long road trip (plus a few days stay-over in Ottawa) to Alberta and will be eating dinner with us before they leave so we'll not be entirely on our own.   We may have some visitors drop by but no one permanent for the holiday weekend.  

This 2016 Canada Day is very significant in Newfoundland & Labrador as it also commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beaumont Hamel where so many young men lost their lives. You can read about the battle at The Battle of the Somme.  There are memorial services and celebrations across Newfoundland today marking both events.  A couple of years ago I posted about my Uncle Jack.  He served during World War I and was spared to come home to his family.  




Strawberries are not ripe in Newfoundland but Colemans grocery store had local Nova Scotia strawberries on sale this week.  Thank you, Nova Scotia!  What tasty, beautiful strawberries I was able to purchase.  Deep red and full of summery strawberry flavour; one could not ask for anything better in a berry. 


The rhubarb in my garden is still producing and I was able to pull some tender new shoots which are probably sweeter than the larger and older stalks.  Everyone should have a rhubarb patch. ☺

The biscuits for these lush Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcakes are based on my Raisin Bun recipe but you can use any favourite biscuit or tea bun recipe you have.   


Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake
1 litre (quart) lovely ripe strawberries
Sugar to taste (I used about ¼ cup)
Stewed rhubarb 
Sweet Biscuits, warm
Sweetened whipped cream

Clean and slice your lovely ripe strawberries.  Sprinkle with sugar and place in refrigerator for 1 hour to rest and let the juices run out.   Mix the strawberries with cold stewed rhubarb.  

Split warm Sweet Biscuits.  Place bottom half of biscuit on dessert plate and place a generous spoonful of the strawberry rhubarb mixture on the biscuit.  Put a big dollop of whipped cream on top of the berries, if you wish.  Cover with the top half of the biscuit.  Drizzle with more strawberries and rhubarb.  Top with more whipped cream.  You may garnish with an additonal strawberry. 

Stewed Rhubarb
2 cups sliced rhubarb
6 tablespoons sugar or to taste

Place the rhubarb and sugar in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer over medium low heat.  Cook until tender but not totally mushy.  Taste for sweetness and add more sugar if needed.  Cool and refrigerate until cold.  

Sweet Biscuits
1½ cups flour  
1½ heaping teaspoons baking powder  
⅓ cup white sugar 
¼ teaspoon salt  
¼ cup butter  
1 egg, slightly beaten  
½ cup milk  
½ teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Lightly grease or line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 

Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl.  Cut in the butter and shortening until the size of peas.  In a small bowl or large measuring cup mix the beaten egg, milk and vanilla together.  Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the milk mixture.  Lightly mix until everything is moistened.  The dough will be quite sticky.

Turn out on a floured surface and gently knead 6 or 7 times, using a little more flour if needed, until dough clings together and can be rolled or patted out.   Pat or roll dough about 1½-inch thick and cut with a floured biscuit cutter.  Place on prepared cookie sheet and bake 20 minutes. 

Makes about 8-10 medium to large biscuits.  Of course, this depends on the size of your cutter.
 


Sweetened Whipped Cream
2 cups very cold whipping cream
¼ cup sugar, or to taste
1 teaspoon vanilla

In a very cold mixing bowl, add the cream, sugar and vanilla.  Beat until medium soft peaks form.  Watch carefully so the cream does not over whip and turn to butter! 



Slice those gorgeous stawberries and add a little sugar.  Refrigerate for an hour or so and watch the strawberry juice start to run.


Cook sliced rhubarb with sugar and refrigerate until cold.


Mix the cold strawberries and rhubarb together and keep refrigerated until ready to use with the biscuits.


Make the biscuits while the strawberries and rhubarb are chilling.  Mix the dry ingredients together, cut in the butter until pea size.  You should have a mealy mixture.  Beat the egg, milk and vanilla together and add to the flour.  You will have a moist dough.  Turn out on a well-floured surface and knead a few times until the dough comes together.  

 Cut the dough with a 2- or 2½-inch biscuit cutter. Bake in a 400 degree oven.


 Bake about 20 minutes unitl golden brown. 

Whip the cream with sugar and vanilla until medium peaks are formed.  Be careful not to over beat into butter!

Assemble the Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake:  Split the biscuits (they are best warm) and place a generous amount of fruit on the bottom slice.  Add a dollop of cream if you wish and cover with the top.  Add another big spoonful of fruit and top with whipped cream. 

 Garnish with a whole strawberry if you have any left.  
(I bought 3 containers of strawberries and had some for decorating.)


 Oh, yum...have a bite!

I told you we'd have Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake for dessert.
And we did!
 

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