**The following script and recipe is from the bestselling cookbook: Edwardian Cooking - 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals. The book is available at all bookstores worldwide and from on-line retailers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Wal-Mart, etc. Now available on Kindle from Amazon for $9.39**
Don't let the title of this dessert fool you. This is probably unlike any other strawberry shortcake you have eaten. First, you have an authentic English shortcake. Very rich and very tender. Second, you are enveloping the strawberries with a mixture of heavy cream and Devonshire cream. This is strawberry shortcake before it was ruined by being cute and artsy.
This dessert was one of the most popular at the abbey's and served year-round. When strawberries weren't in season, the cook would simply substitute another seasonal berry. This was also a very popular lunch dish at the abbeys and, in a few episodes of Downton Abbey, you can see it being served in the family dining room during the midafternoon meal.
To purchase Devonshire cream outside of Great Britain is not really that difficult. Most markets that have an international food section will carry it, and it can always be found via the Internet. It is a very rich "coddled" cream and blends wonderfully with the heavy cream for this dessert.
Ingredients needed to make Devonshire Strawberry Shortcake (serves 4):
- 1 cup flour
- 3/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup Devonshire cream
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 3 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch and salt.
- In a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and egg until smooth.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and beat just until a dough forms.
- Wrap the dough in plastic and chill 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone sheet.
- Place the dough on a floured surface and roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Using a round biscuit or cookie cutter, cut out rounds. You will need eight, two for each dessert (if you have extra, store them in an airtight container for a few days).
- Place the shortcakes on the prepared baking sheet and bake 25 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cream, Devonshire cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form.
- Place the strawberries into the bowl and fold them into the cream.
- Spoon some of the Devonshire Strawberries over a piece of shortcake, top with another piece of shortcake serve.
The new cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards is now available from Amazon.com and bookstores worldwide. One of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year, "Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals."