It’s National Strawberry Shortcake Day, people! I didn’t even know there was a day set aside specifically for strawberry shortcake, but I can definitely support it! There are few things more wonderful in this world than the delightful mix of sweet, tart strawberries, mounds of silky, decadent whipped cream, and the buttery crumb of a shortcake round all mixed together. It is the perfect summertime dessert. Well, I found a way to spin the quintessential summer indulgence into something unexpected and amazing – Brown Sugar Balsamic Grilled Strawberry Shortcake. You marinate the strawberries in balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, throw them on the grill, and reduce the marinade down to a syrup for drizzling. You’re welcome. (Mic drop)
Brown Sugar Balsamic Grilled Strawberry Shortcake
Makes approximately 6 servings
For the Strawberries:
- 1 pound of washed, dried, and hulled strawberries
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the Shortcake Rounds:
- 2 cups all purpose flour, plus additional flour for dusting
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons ice cold butter, cut into cubes (I cut the butter into cubes and then put it in the freezer while I do the other prep work)
- 1 cup whipping cream
For the Whipped Cream:
- 1 cup very cold whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Biscuit cutter
- Pastry cutter or large fork
- Rolling pin
- Skewers for the grill
- Handheld mixer
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
- Place your washed, hulled, and dried strawberries in a medium sized bowl and pour the balsamic vinegar over them. Cover with a large paper towel and set aside for approximately 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to thoroughly coat the strawberries in the vinegar.
- Make the shortcake rounds while you let the strawberries marinate. In a large bowl, mix together the 2 cups of flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using your pastry cutter or a large fork, gently mash the ice cold butter into the flour mixture until small crumbs form. Pour in the cream and gently stir until everything is incorporated into a thick, viscous biscuit dough. Lightly flour your work surface and place the dough in the center.
- Roll out the dough using your rolling pin until approximately 1/2 inch thick. Cut out the biscuits and place, with edges touching, on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. (You can also give your baking sheet a little spritz of cooking spray if you don’t have either of those things.) Very gently ball up and roll out any remaining dough until you have cut out 12 rounds. Place your baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until your shortcakes are golden brown. Remove shortbread from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. (You can make the shortcake rounds in advance a place in the freezer once cooled, if desired. Thaw before using.)
- Return to the strawberries you set aside. Pour out all but approximately 2 to 3 tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar. Dump the brown sugar all over the top of the strawberries and reserved balsamic. Gently stir to create a paste-like consistency and sprinkle the cinnamon on top. Gently stir again to incorporate. Re-cover the bowl with a paper towel and set aside for another 20 to 30 minutes.
- Preheat your grill to 500 degrees. (You can roast them in the oven or use a grill pan if you don’t have access to a grill.) Thread the marinated strawberries on your skewers, reserving the marinade. Place the prepared skewers on your hot grill. Cook until softened and grill marks form (approximately 3 minutes per side). Remove from grill and allow to cool to room temperature. When able to comfortably handle, cut strawberries into quarters and set aside.
- Pour the reserved brown sugar and balsamic marinade into a small saucepan and carefully bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring regularly. Reduce heat and simmer until the sauce starts to thicken, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
- Make the whipped cream by combining the cream and sugar. Beat with a handheld mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Place in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
- Assemble your shortcakes: Drizzle a spoonful of the balsamic syrup reduction on the bottom of each plate and place a shortcake round on top. Mound the strawberries on top of each shortcake round, dividing evenly among the plates. Drizzle a little more syrup on top of the strawberries and place a dollop of the soft whipped cream on top. Gently put the second shortcake round on top and drizzle with more syrup. Enjoy!