Lunchbreak: Virginia Willis makes brown sugar strawberry shortcakes

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Virginia Willis

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Brown Sugar-Strawberry Shortcakes
Makes 8

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits
3 Tablespoons canola oil
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon water (optional)
2 Tablespoons raw, turbinado, or demerara sugar (optional)
4 cups sliced strawberries

Vanilla Cream
1/2 cup plain 2 percent Greek yogurt
3 Tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. In a large bowl, combine the flours, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the butter and oil and, using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles meal. Add the buttermilk and vanilla. Mix until the dough pulls together. (It will be very soft.) Using a rubber spatula, transfer the dough to a floured board. Knead several times so the dough comes together. Pat evenly into an 8-inch circle about 1/2-inch thick. Cut out rounds of dough with a 2 3/4 or 3-inch round cutter dipped in flour; press the cutter straight down without twisting so the shortcakes will rise evenly when baked. Place the shortcakes on the prepared baking sheet. Gather the dough together and repeat with remaining dough. Brush the shortcakes with water and sprinkle with raw sugar. Transfer to the oven and bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove to a rack to cool slightly. Toss the strawberries with the remaining Tablespoon of raw sugar in a medium bowl. To make the vanilla cream, combine the yogurt, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract in a small bowl and stir. To serve, split the shortcakes horizontally. Spoon the strawberries and juice onto the bottoms, top with the cream mixture, and replace the shortcake tops. Serve immediately.