Every year around the end of June, I keep my eyes open for signs of ripening strawberries. The growing season is short in Vermont, and the strawberries are only at their peak for a few short weeks. These ripe, red beauties are delicious in recipes from salads, to pies and everywhere in between.
This strawberry “gris” shortcake recipe is a winemaker’s twist on an old classic—using the delicate bouquet of our Frontenac Gris vintage to add a hint of sweetness and bring out the crisp berry flavors. And if you happen to be dairy-free, the strawberry-gris reduction sauce is delicious on its own. Enjoy!
Strawberry “Gris” Reduction
- 2 quarts fresh strawberries
- 1 cup Frontenac Gris wine
- ½ cup sugar
The night before you plan to serve the strawberry shortcake, wash and stem one quart of strawberries, slicing them into quarters. Place the slices into a stainless steel bowl, and mix in the Frontenac Gris. Refrigerate, and let it sit overnight.
The next day, transfer the mixture to a medium-sized non-reactive saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Add the sugar, lower the heat and allow it to simmer until the volume is reduce by half (about 1-2 hours.) Wash and stem the remaining quart of strawberries, then slice them into quarters. Set aside.
Once the strawberry-gris reduction has reduced by half, it should have the consistency of a deep red syrup. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool (you can even put it into the fridge at this point.) Once the syrup has cooled, mix in the sliced fresh strawberries.
This biscuit recipe has been adapted from Domestifluff’s gluten-free biscuits at http://www.domestifluff.com/2009/08/my-favorite-gluten-free-biscuits/.
- 2 cups all purpose gluten-free flour (I prefer Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour, which includes xantham gum. If your mix does not include xantham gum, add one teaspoon to the recipe.)
- 4 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 tbsp butter, room temperature
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp nutmeg
- Parchment paper
Preheat the oven to 425°, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine the dry ingredients into a large bowl (including the xantham gum if needed.) Mix thoroughly, then cut in the 4 tablespoons of butter. Mix the butter into the flour mixture with a spoon or your clean hands, until the mixture takes on a consistently crumbly, sandy texture. In a separate bowl, add the buttermilk and the egg whites, whisking gently to combine. The batter should have a slightly wet, sticky texture. Using a pair of spoons, drop tablespoons of the batter onto the baking pan. Combine the nutmeg and brown sugar in a small container, and sprinkle lightly onto the top of each biscuit. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Many people like whipped cream from a can, but I find it doesn’t take much more effort to make it from scratch, and the flavor is so much better!
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup of confectioner’s sugar, or to taste
In a deep, narrow bowl, combine the cream, vanilla extract, and confectioner’s sugar. Using an electric mixer or a hand mixer, beat the cream on high until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to overdo it—eventually you will end up with butter! Whipped cream can also be made by hand using a wire whisk, but it takes muscle. It can be fun though—especially when you have a friend to take turns with the whisk!
Slice the biscuits open laterally so that you have a top and bottom piece. Spoon the strawberry sauce generously onto the bottom biscuit and top with whipped cream. Place the top biscuit over the layer of cream, and drizzle strawberry sauce over the top, crowning the confection with final dollop of cream. Serve cold on a warm summer evening, with a perfectly-paired glass of Frontenac Gris. Perfection!