The Best Strawberry Shortcakes
These strawberry shortcakes are a stunning summer dessert made with macerated strawberries and freshly whipped cream, all tucked inside ethereally light biscuits.
For the macerated strawberries
Macerate the strawberries
In a large shallow-rimmed dish, mash about 1/4 of the strawberries with a fork or potato masher. In a large bowl, toss together the mashed strawberries, unmashed berries, lemon juice, and maple syrup, if using. Taste and adjust sweetness as needed. Set aside, stirring occasionally.
Make the shortcakes
Preheat the oven to 425°F (218° C). Line a 9-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, if using, and salt. Using a wooden spoon or stiff spatula, stir in the cream. Mix until the mixture comes together in a sticky, crumbly mass.
Dump the mixture onto a lightly floured work surface. Using floured hands, knead the dough only a few times until the mixture forms a soft dough. (For the lightest shortcakes, do not over-knead.)
Divide the dough in half and pat each portion into a 5-inch round. Cut each round into quarters. Place each quarter onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving a few inches between. Brush each quarter with melted butter.
Bake until the tops of the shortcakes are golden, 12 to 16 minutes. Gently move the shortcakes to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Assemble the shortcakes
Split each shortcake in half crosswise. Place the bottom half of each shortcake on a plate. Spoon some of the macerated berries and a large dollop of whipped cream on top, then place the remaining half of the shortcake on top. Spoon more berries and their juices on top and embellish it with even more whipped cream on top. Garnish with the crystallized ginger, if using, and serve immediately.