Driscoll's berries gave a challenge to a bunch of food bloggers: come up with a delicious and creative twist on a very classic dessert. Strawberry Shortcake.
I decided to play with the traditional stack of biscuits, whipped cream, and strawberries by swapping out the biscuit and putting in a PopTart. Not the super-junky, overly-sweet, artificially-flavored PopTarts you buy in the supermarket. I'm talking about a homemade version with actual strawberries! Then you top those with whipped cream and more berries...now, we're talking about a yummy new twist on a classic, am I right?
- 1 lb. strawberries (I always get Driscoll's organic—yes, even when I'm not writing about Driscoll's)
- 1/4 cup strawberry 100% fruit spread
- pinch of sea salt
- 1 pie crust dough, homemade or store-bought
- 1 Tbls + 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp + 2 tsp vanilla sugar (or plain sugar)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
To make the PopTart filling, chop about five strawberries. Place these berries, the fruit spread, and the sea salt in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium-low heat until the mixture is thick, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
Roll out your pie dough. Using a 2 1/2" biscuit cutter, cut out 16 circles; you may need to roll out the excess dough and re-cut in order to use all of your dough and get enough circles.
Place circles on a parchment-covered baking sheet. Spoon about 3/4 teaspoon of the strawberry filling onto each of half of the circles (remember, the other circles will go on top of these!).
Take your tablespoon of heavy cream and, using your fingertip, brush the cream around the edges of the dough. Place the other circles on top and press down the edges to seal in the filling. Cut a hole or an "X" on the top of each mini pie. Again, use your fingertip to brush cream over the tops of each pie, then sprinkle one teaspoon of vanilla sugar over the tops of the tarts.
NOTE: If you don't have vanilla sugar, it's super easy to make. After you've used vanilla beans for a recipe, keep the pods! Just stick them in a container of sugar and the flavor and scent infuses your sugar. It's pretty much all I use for baking.
Back to the PopTarts: bake for 20-25 minutes, until the mini pies are golden brown.
In the meantime, whip your cup of cream and two teaspoons of sugar in a chilled bowl until stiff peaks form (my whipped cream is a bit over-whipped, you may notice in the pix. Mea culpa. Still tasted delicious, I'll have you know!). Then hull and slice the remaining strawberries. Once the PopTarts have cooled, top with a layer of berries, a dollop of whipped cream, then another PopTart, berries, and cream. Voilà! Strawberry Shortcake with a fun new twist.
Shortcake may get a bit messy, but it sure tastes amazing!
Disclosure: I received coupons from Driscoll’s Berries in order to develop a recipe for their Strawberry Shortcake contest. All photos and opinions remain my own.