Red Fruit Shortcake

This week, the heavenly cake bakers catch-up group is making the red fruit shortcake. I can kind of see where Mendy’s coming from when he says this isn’t much of a challenge, since it’s a genoise from another recipe, topped with fruit, and maybe some meringues crisps or whipped dairy of some sort. That being said, I made it anyway, since I have lots of strawberries in my garden, just looking for an excuse to be used. Plus, my shed’s finally finished, so I don’t have that as an excuse not to bake any more.

Strawberry Patch

I always find baking to be magical. I suppose “food science” or “chemistry” or “physics” is probably a better term, but it just always seems like pure wizardry to me, that you can take the simple ingredients in the bowls in this picture, and turn them into the light and airy cakes sitting on the rack. That’s really all the ingredients that are in these cakes!

Baking Magic

My favourite baking magic is turning this:

Eggs and sugar

…into this:

Magic foam

After you’ve performed that trick, you whisk some of the magic foam into the butter/vanilla, then fold in the flour, then fold the butter mixture back in, then bake.

You can see that I made these cakes in 2 batches. That’s because I only have 1 six cavity mary-anne pan, and I had enough strawberries to satisfy a good number of shortcakes. I did end up picking up some raspberries at the grocery store, which came from California, which made me sad, but it’s just not quite raspberry season here yet, and it’s definitely not red currant season, either. I think the only time I could have made this cake with entirely fresh local produce would be late July, and that’s definitely pushing it for strawberries. To be honest, I’m sure our household would have been just as happy with pure strawberries.

Anyway, after rounding up your produce, macerate the berries with some sugar, then drain off the resulting juice. Turn the juice into syrup by adding a bit more sugar, then douse the cakes with syrup, cover them in berries, and top with some sweetened whipped creme fraiche.

Red Fruit Shortcake

Delish!

While Jay and I were working on putting a scratch coat of mortar on the pillars on our front porch (long story, I’ll maybe tell it when we’re finished with the project), our neighbour from across the road stopped by to chat (and to see if he could help, without getting too involved!). We were burning out the motor on our poor little drill trying to mix the mortar, so the neighbour offered to run home and grab a more powerful one he had. We took him up on the offer, and the next batch went a whole lot better. As we were cleaning up after finishing the job, his wife came over to visit too. I offered them some strawberries, as I was picking a few off the bushes while we were standing around chatting. The wife said she’d just finished cleaning a batch of berries, so instead I offered her the shortcakes. “Oh, now that sounds perfect!” I sent them home with 4 of the cakes, so they figure we’re even on the drill loan.

While they were over, I also showed off my new shed. Wanna see pictures? Too bad, you’re getting them anyway. 🙂

Exterior
Interior

I built the potting bench myself, on Sunday. I’m really happy with how it turned out, though I still need to figure out what to use for a suitable workbench top.

Potting Bench and Window

The window came out of the back room (former summer kitchen) that we tore down last spring in order to make room for the new window over the sink in the kitchen.

Bikes and yard equipment

I love having these shelves to organize all the fertilizers, slug killers, and other sprays and powders.

Potting bench and shelves

And this is what it’s all for:

Veggie Garden

Look! First one of the season!

First Tomato Blossom!

My plants make me so happy some days. 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Red Fruit Shortcake

  1. Your shortcakes looks great! Love the shape from the Maryann pan.

    You guys are such a handy pair. Do you want to come over and help build things around my apartment? I can pay you with lots of good food and baked goods :).

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  2. It all looks wonderful – the little shortcakes, the strawberry patch, your new shed, and the veggie garden. My garden is limited to herbs and tomatoes on the terrace this year.

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  3. Why didn’t you ask me to bring the old kitchen counter top. It is here if you want it. It can come from the section with the kitchen sink or without. How long a piece do you want? I want cake as delivery reward!! I am sure it would have fit on top of the roof rack.

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  4. Hi Mom! Before you came, I didn’t have the workbench built (or even in my head). The workbench is 70″ x 18″. Do you have a section that size? I was just thinking about painted plywood or something, but Connie also mentioned that she might have something that would work. I also noticed as I was cleaning my stuff out of the garage, I forgot to give you my upside-down hanging tomato planter thing while you were here. I guess we need to make a trip your direction!

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  5. My mom had a big strawberry patch when I was growing up. Of course, I never realized how amazing it was to be able to go out the back door and pick fresh strawberries. It made me nostalgic to see your strawberry patch.
    I loved this red fruit dessert–whatever red fruit you use, it seems to turn out perfectly.
    And, by the way, congratulations on your shed!

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