Plant City Strawberry Shortcake

Here’s a Valentine from Florida:  super sweet, fresh-picked strawberries.sugar sweet strawberriesWelcome to Plant City, the heart of strawberry country, only 30 minutes east of Tampa.  You’ll know you’re there when you see acres of strawberry fields and produce stands and hot boiled peanuts.  strawberry fields foreverstrawberryWith all the agriculture you’d think that’s why it’s named Plant City, but it was actually named after Henry B. Plant, who built his railroad through the town in 1884.  Before that it was called Ichepucksassa.  The settlers had a hard time with that name, so they seized the opportunity to name it after Plant.sugar sweet Plant City strawberriesRight now Plant City supplies the whole country with strawberries:  300 million pounds of them. It’s strawberry heaven.  There’s even a Florida Strawberry Festival February 28 to March 10. If you can’t get there, no worries.  The ones at your local store were most likely grown in Plant City, and right now they’re the freshest, sweetest strawberries you’ll taste all year.a very big strawberrySince it’s Valentine’s Day and peak strawberry season, let’s celebrate with some strawberry shortcake, what do you say?  The kind made with warm shortcakes, pillows of whipped cream, and layers of those sugar-sweet strawberries. biscuitsShortcakes are really just slightly sweetened biscuits.  Everybody loves biscuits!  These are blended with butter and buttermilk and just enough sugar to take them from breakfast fare to dessert.  They need to be piled high with lots of whipped cream and strawberries, inside and out, so don’t hold back.  You know you’re doing it right when they start to topple over.strawberry shortcakesOne taste and you’ll feel like you’ve been shot with Cupid’s arrow. strawberry shortcake

Plant City Strawberry Shortcake
  1. 1 quart strawberries, sliced
  2. 1 tablespoon sugar
  3. 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  4. 2 cups self-rising flour
  5. 1 tablespoon sugar
  6. pinch of salt if you used unsalted butter
  7. 1/4 cup butter
  8. 3/4 cup buttermilk*
  9. 2 teaspoons sugar
  10. 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  11. 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  12. 1-2 teaspoons vanilla
  13. 1-3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  14. mint leaves for garnish
  1. Heat the oven to 450.
  2. Place a metal bowl and beaters or whisk in the freezer.
  3. Stir sliced strawberries with lemon juice and sugar in a medium bowl and set aside.
Make the biscuits
  1. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, and a pinch of salt if your butter is unsalted. Slice the butter into pieces. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two butter knives until it forms crumbles the size of peas. Pour in the buttermilk and blend until it forms a ball.
  2. Roll out the dough, folding it over onto itself a couple times. Roll it out until it's 1/2- 3/4" thick. Cut out biscuits and re-roll the scraps to make more. I got 8 biscuits using a 3" biscuit cutter.
  3. Move the biscuits to an un-greased baking sheet. Mix 2 teaspoons of sugar with cinnamon and sprinkle over the top (that's optional, and you can also brush melted butter over them).
  4. Bake the biscuits for 10-14 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden.
  5. Transfer the biscuits to a wire rack or parchment-lined tray to cool.
Make the whipped cream
  1. Retrieve the cold bowl and whisk from the freezer. Using a stand mixer, hand mixer, or strong arm and a whisk, beat the cream until stiff peaks just begin to form. Add in powdered sugar and vanilla to taste, and continue beating until you can turn the whisk upside down and the whipped cream does not slide down.
Assemble the shortcakes
  1. Slice each biscuit in half. Using a pastry bag or a spoon, pipe or spread the bottom biscuit with lots of whipped cream. Layer on strawberries, then the biscuit top. Add more whipped cream and a strawberry on top. Garnish with a mint leaf if you like.
  1. If you don't have buttermilk, here's how you can make it in a pinch: combine 3/4 cup minus 1 tablespoon milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar. Allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes before using.
Suwannee Rose
A #FreshFromFlorida love for Valentine's Day: classic strawberry shortcakes made with super sweet Plant City strawberries, buttermilk shortcakes and fresh whipped cream.


6 Comments Plant City Strawberry Shortcake

  1. Nicole February 12, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    I’m excited to make some strawberry shortcake! Your pics are beautiful, as always. So much history with Plant City strawberries. . .and we have so many great resources for fresh, beautiful produce in Florida 🙂

  2. suwanneerose February 12, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    Thanks, Nicole! I’m always grateful for what we have here every season. As soon as I get my fill of these strawberries I’ll be ready for what’s next.

    1. suwanneerose February 12, 2016 at 9:02 pm

      Thank you, Robin!

  3. Coley February 18, 2016 at 10:33 am

    This has my heart yearning for strawberry season! We’ll have to wait until June for all the good, sweet local ones to start popping up. I’m hoping for a big backyard harvest this year considering the super mild winter we’ve had. Just need to keep the birdies away so there can be lots of strawberry shortcake in my future.

    1. suwanneerose February 18, 2016 at 1:14 pm

      I wish I would have planted my own. They’re such pretty plants. It’s a constant battle with the critters around here, too. They know just the right moment to nab perfect fruit. Be sure to keep those birdies away from your Sun Gold tomatoes, too!


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