1/2 c. sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar**
Freshly grated nutmeg (2-3 grates)
1/4 c. butter (soft, but not melted)
Milk (about 3/4 c.)
1/4 c. butter (melted)
2 tsp. Vanilla Sugar (optional)
Wash, remove stems, and slice strawberries. Add sugar (more or less depending upon the sweetness of the strawberries). Set aside in an oven-proof bowl.
Butter 9 inch round cake pan. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and nutmeg. Use a pastry blender and blend the butter into the dry ingredients until fine pebbles develop and flour turns a beautiful yellow tone. Stir in milk -- a little at a time -- until the dough holds together, but is still soft. You may use a little less milk.
Turn dough onto a floured board and divide into two parts. Pat or roll the first half into a 9 inch round to fit the bottom of the cake pan. Spread it with 2 Tbsp. of the melted butter. Roll or pat the other half to fit the 9 inch pan and place on top. Sprinkle with the vanilla sugar. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove the shortcake from the pan by flipping onto a plate. Cut the shortcake into 6 pieces and place on a dessert plate with the sugar turned on top. Open shortcake and spread a little more melted butter on each side of the shortcake.
Warm the strawberries slightly by placing them in the oven after you take the shortcake out -- turn off oven and allow to stay in the oven while you cut the shortcake and place on individual plates. Fill the shortcake with lots of strawberries and a little juice. Serve with whipped cream, heavy cream or homemade vanilla ice cream.
**For a richer shortcake -- increase sugar to 1/3 cup and butter to 1/3 cup. Add a well-beaten egg before stirring in the milk (decrease milk to 1/3 cup).
You can use other sliced and sugared fresh fruit (like peaches) for a filling variety.
This recipe was inspired by the Fannie Farmer Cookbook!