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I loved this dessert as a child. We made it often in the summertime to feature the wild strawberries that grew near my grandmother’s farm.   We used whipped cream for the topping then, but I have changed the recipe a bit to use creme fraiche.  Either will work beautifully.

One note on the butter:  I prefer to use European-style butter.  It has a bit more butter fat and less moisture than traditional butter, and I think it gives a better taste and texture to the shortcakes.

Ingredients
4 baskets fresh strawberries
1/3 cup sugar

2 cups self-rising flour (see * below)
1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter, plus a little more for the pan
Approx. 3/4 cup buttermilk
A little extra self-rising flour to scatter on countertop

1/2 cup creme fraiche

You will also need:
Large bowl
Aluminum foil
Food processor
Biscuit cutter (approx. 2.5″ in diameter)
Baking pan (a 9″ round cake layer pan works great)
Knife
Individual serving plates

Instructions
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

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Wash the strawberries, take off the caps and slice the berries into about 4 pieces each.  If the strawberries are really small, then just slice them in half.   Add the sugar to the berries and stir well.  Cover with aluminum foil and set aside.

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Put the flour into the food processor.  Cut the butter into 8 pieces.  Add the butter, one piece at a time, to the flour and pulse about 5 times after each addition.  When all butter has been added, the flour should have a corn-meal consistency.  Slowly add the buttermilk and pulse until the flour starts to come together.   You may not need exactly all of the buttermilk so add slowly.  When the mixture is moist but not too wet, remove the blade from the food processor and gather the flour mixture into a ball.

Scatter some flour onto the countertop.  Press the ball out to about 1″ thickness.

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Smooth the edges and the top.  Using a biscuit cutter, cut the dough into 7 or 8 circles, gathering up the dough that is left and using it , too.

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Butter a 9″ round cake pan.  Place the shortcake circles into the pan.

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Bake for 18 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

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Cut one of the shortcakes in half, forming a top and bottom piece.  Place it openface (cut side up) onto an individual serving dish.  Spoon some of the strawberries and juice over both pieces.  Top each with a dollop of creme fraiche.

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Repeat with the others.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6.

* Note:  Self-rising flour and plain flour are not the same thing.  Self-rising flour has baking powder and salt already added in.  We used it for biscuits, shortcakes and cobblers when I was growing up.  If you don’t have self-rising flour, you can make your own.  Mix together 2 cups plain flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

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