Old Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake

2 pounds strawberries, washed, stemmed and sliced
1/4 cup orange juice

2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, cut into small cubes, and chilled
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg, slightly beaten
2/3 cup whole milk or half and half

Whipped Cream

Prepare the strawberries and combine with the orange juice. Set aside the berries, covered to allow them to soak up the orange juice. I prefer using orange juice to sugar to mix with the berries. Orange juice helps the berries hold their shape and texture, while sugar makes the soggy after a day.

Preheat the oven to 450*F Spray an 8" round cake pan with baking spray, and set aside. In a mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well. To the flour mixture cut in the cold butter cubes using a pastry cutter or two forks until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Don't worry if there are a few bigger chunks in the mixture. Add the half and half, egg and vanilla to the butter flour mixture and mix by hand until combined. It will be fairly sticky and messy. Spread the dough into the prepared round pan. Bake 450*F for 17-22 minutes or until a pick stuck in the middle of the shortcake comes out clean. Remove from the oven to a wire rack and cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to cool for a a bit longer. Meanwhile, prepare your whipped cream.

Whipped cream: 1/2 pint whipping cream, 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla. Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and using a mixer, whip on medium speed until all the ingredients are combined. Turn mixer to high and mix, turning the bowl until stiff peaks form. Store unused whipped cream in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
I have the best success with whipped cream if I place the mixing bowl and the beaters in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before whipping the cream.

To serve the short cake, I like to cut the short cake into 8 wedges and split each wedge in half horizontally. Fill the middle with lots of berries and juice, put the lid of short cake on top of the berries and top with whipped cream,

Yield: 8 servings
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