When life hands you lemons, you’re supposed to make lemonade. When life hands you a neck injury, however, it seems that you can’t make much of anything.
I’ve been stuck on the couch for three days. It hurts to move, it hurts to sit, it hurts to sleep. I’ve got my routine down: a glass of water, ibuprofen, ice (frozen peas) and heat (homemade sock rice pack). I watched an entire season of Project Runway yesterday. I’m going a little bit stir crazy. And while there’s never a good time to get injured, this weekend seemed like particularly bad timing. The Montavilla Farmer’s Market opened for its 6th season today. In addition, today is the deadline for the June Recipe Swap.
I’ve been planning this post for weeks. When Christianna (from Burwell General Store) emailed us the recipe for ‘Mint Pie‘, I knew that I was going to take the recipe in an entirely different direction.
You see, I’m one of the few people on the planet that doesn’t like the combination of chocolate and mint. I love chocolate. I love fresh mint. For whatever reason, I just don’t like them together. (Please don’t hate me!) Since it’s strawberry season in the Northwest – and since my mint plant is growing like crazy and threatening to take over the backyard – I decided to combine these two ingredients instead.
My apologies to all of the chocolate-and-mint lovers out there, but I’m officially on Team Strawberries-and-Mint. The combination is incredible! This dessert is a slight variation of a classic strawberry shortcake, but it’s the subtleties that make this recipe truly special. Perfectly ripe strawberries, purchased at the farmer’s market this morning. Fresh mint, plucked from my backyard. Hints of lemon, mint, black pepper, and cream. It all works together to create a light and airy spring treat that isn’t overly sweet or complicated. It’s just perfect.
STRAWBERRY & MINT SHORTCAKES WITH LEMONY WHIPPED CREAM
Adapted from Bite by Michelle
(Makes 10-12 shorcakes)
For the shortcakes:
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons white sugar
2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely diced
1 stick (1/2 cup) chilled salted butter, cut into small cubes
2/3 cup buttermilk
Optional: Egg wash & raw sugar
For the strawberry topping:
1 pint strawberries
1.5 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon white sugar
A couple grinds of black pepper
For the lemony whipped cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Using a pastry blender (or knives, fingers, food processor, etc) cut in butter until it resembles a coarse meal. Stir in mint and buttermilk, and mix until just combined.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead a couple of times and pat into a circle (with a 1″ thickness). Using a biscuit cutter (or juice glass), cut out the shortcakes. Place on a lined baking sheet, 1-2 inches apart. Optional: brush each cake with an egg wash and sprinkle with raw (or coarse grain) sugar before baking.
Place baking sheet in the oven on bottom rack and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, wash and de-stem the strawberries. Slice strawberries and place in a bowl. Toss with fresh mint, black pepper, lemon juice, and black pepper.
Mix the whipping cream, vanilla, sugar, and lemon zest together. Whip, using a whisk or electric mixer for 3-5 minutes, or until the mixture is light and billowy. (Be careful not to overwhip! You want soft peaks.)
When the shortcakes have cooled, arrange each cake on a plate with a generous dollop of whipped cream and strawberries. Enjoy!