You only live once, so why not indulge? Especially since I’ve made this treat a little more virtuous.
Instead of the usual calorie-laden whipped cream filling, I’ve used thick, non-fat Greek yogurt in its place. Yes, the shortcakes still have some cream and butter in the dough. There’s not much getting around that. But yogurt is packed with active cultures that reportedly aid digestion and boost the immune system. And fresh fruit always does a body good. I’ve added just the tiniest drizzle of honey to mellow the tartness of the Greek yogurt. You also can stir in a tad with the sliced strawberries, if the fruit is not sweet enough.
Lastly, I’ve added a spoonful of diced crystallized ginger in with the strawberries. I could say I’ve added it for medicinal purposes. But those of you who know me too well will realize it’s there because I simply can’t get enough of its spicy sweet heat. For those of you who aren’t so partial to ginger, you can leave it out.
There you have it: fresh fruit, yogurt, and honey. That’s a pretty healthful breakfast. Throw in the biscuity shortcake and it’s still better for you than a lot of Sunday brunch fare.
So go ahead and enjoy one of these strawberry shortcakes for breakfast. Or anytime, in fact. The baked shortcakes can be frozen in a Zip-Lock bag, making it easy to serve one on short notice. Allow to thaw in the bag on the countertop for an hour, then warm shortcake in a 350-degree oven for about 15 minutes.
The shortcake recipe is from the June 2008 issue of Cuisine At Home magazine. The filling is my own simple concoction.
Guilt-Free (or almost) Strawberry Shortcakes
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup plain yogurt
Heavy cream, for brushing on top
Sanding or granulated sugar, for sprinkling on top
2 1/2 to 3 pints fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced
1 tablespoon chopped crystalized ginger, or to taste (optional)
Honey, to taste
Non-fat Greek yogurt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees; line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture using a pastry blender until butter is size of peas. Stir cream and yogurt together in a second bowl, add to flour mixture, and blend with a fork just until dough comes together.
Pat out dough on a lightly floured surface into a circle about 1-inch thick. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cutter, cut out as many shortcakes as possible and place on prepared baking sheet. Gently press scraps into a 1-inch-thick circle and cut remaining biscuits. (Note: Avoid twisting the cutter into the dough. That will seal the sides and prevent the shortcakes from rising as high as they should.)
Brush with cream and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
In a bowl, mix strawberries with crystalized ginger, and a little bit of honey, if you like. Stir a little honey into the Greek yogurt, as well. When shortcakes are cool enough to handle, split each one in half horizontally. On each bottom half, spoon a small dollop of yogurt, then top with strawberry mixture; repeat with a little more yogurt, then more strawberries. Replace the top of each shortcake, and serve.