Classic Strawberry Shortcake

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From April through June is the best time to get ripe, delicious strawberries from California. Though most of us are still peeling off winter parkas and drying out from the rains, it’s the height of the season for strawberries. This tasty recipe pairs the classic shortcake with fresh berries and whipped cream for a slice of heaven.

INGREDIENTS (AVAILABLE AT BEL AIR FOODS)

2 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 c. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. cold whipping cream
Fresh Strawberry Sauce:

1 pint basket Santa Maria Valley strawberries (12 ounces), stemmed and halved
Sugar to taste
Topping:

1 pint basket Santa Maria Valley strawberries (12 ounces), stemmed and sliced
1 1/2 cups whipping cream, whipped and sweetened with sugar, to taste
Mint sprigs, for garnish
Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. To make shortcakes, in bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Gently stir with fork, gradually mix in cream until just combined. Mixture should barely hold together. With hands, form dough into six balls; place 3 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in center of oven 25 to 30 minutes until light golden brown; cool on baking sheet.

Fresh Strawberry Sauce:

In blender container, purée strawberries until smooth. Sweeten to taste with sugar; cover and set aside.

Split shortcakes horizontally. Divide sauce among six dessert plates; top each with a shortcake bottom, 1/4 cup sliced strawberries and 1/4 cup whipped cream. Cover with shortcake tops. Spoon remaining strawberries and whipped cream over shortcakes, dividing equally. Garnish with mint sprigs.

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