These two classic strawberry shortcake recipes come from the early 20th century, when fresh berries were often saved for special occasions desserts? Why? Because perfectly-ripe fruit was often hard to come by. Other wholesome ingredients — including farm-fresh eggs and dairy cream — were used to make the biscuit-like cake and the rich whipped cream that lay the foundation for the strawberries in this traditional shortcake recipe.
Old-fashioned classic strawberry shortcake (1918)
3/4 cup white cornmeal 1-3/4 cups flour 1 teaspoon salt 4 teaspoons baking powder 2 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons shortening 3/4 cup cold milk 1/2 cup of cream (whipped) 3 cups of strawberries
Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the shortening and rub it in very lightly. Add milk slowly, mixing with a fork or a knife. Turn the dough out on a floured board and roll lightly one inch thick. Brush the top with milk and bake for twenty to twenty-five minutes in a hot oven.
Split open, in between the layers, spread the strawberries, which have been sweetened and crushed. Put on the top layer; spread with slightly sweetened whipped cream and place strawberries on the top.
Instead of the whipped cream one-half cupful of strained honey may be boiled for five minutes and poured slowly over the stiffly beaten white of one egg, beating constantly until cold.
Pour over the strawberry shortcake and serve at once.
Such good strawberry shortcake! Strawberry shortcake is most delicious when made with Crisco. This pure, wholly vegetable shortening makes the crust wonderfully light and tender, and gives it butter richness at less than half of butter cost.
2 cups bread flour 4 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup shortening About 3/4 cup milk 1 to 2 quarts strawberries Sugar Whipped cream, if desired
Mix and sift dry ingredients, cut in shortening, then add milk gradually. Divide in two, toss on well-floured board and roll lightly to fit layer cake pan. Brush top with one teaspoonful of melted Crisco; roll other half and place on top of first.
Bake in hot oven. Then separate the layers; sweeten strawberries to taste. Place on back of range for a few minutes, then crush slightly and put between layers and on top of shortcake. Leave a few strawberries whole for garnishing.