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Spring has sprung! What better way to celebrate than to have a dessert that is practically spring on a plate? Louisiana strawberries are abundant this time of the year. They’re at the farmer’s markets, in CSA boxes and especially at the Ponchatoula Strawberry festival in April.

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I know what you’re thinking. Tea in my biscuit? Doesn’t that break some sort of Southern cooking rule? After all, biscuit recipes are often sacred family heirlooms passed down through the generations. This recipe is a basic biscuit dough with the addition of a little more sugar and some ground Earl Grey tea. If tea in my biscuit is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

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Here, the bergamot-flavored Earl Grey lends a slight orange and fragrantly floral taste that pairs wonderfully with the strawberries and vanilla whipped cream. Give it a try!

Earl Grey Strawberry Shortcake with Vanilla Whipped Cream

For the biscuits:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 5 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 T Earl Grey Tea, finely ground
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons cream, divided

For the strawberries:

  • 4 pints strawberries, washed, stemmed and cut in slices
  • 3 T vanilla sugar
  • 1 T Grand Marnier (optional)
  • For the whipped cream:
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2-3 heaping T confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla puree (see notes)

Place strawberries with sugar and Grand Marnier (if using) in a bowl and set aside or in the refrigerator to let strawberries macerate.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Whisk the flour, baking powder, 4 T of the sugar, salt and tea in a large mixing bowl. Cut in the 1/2 cup cold butter using a pastry cutter or your fingers  (like you’re snapping your fingers). Add the buttermilk and 2 T of the cream; mix just until a soft dough forms.

Turn the dough out onto a floured countertop and very gently pat into a circle about 1 inch thick. Handling the dough as little as possible, cut into 8 to 9 circles with a biscuit cutter. Brush tops of biscuits with remaining 2 T of cream and sprinkle with remaining 1 T of sugar.

Place biscuits on a lined baking sheet and bake in oven for 10-12 minutes until tops are golden brown and biscuits are done.

Making sure your cream is ice cold, pour into a metal bowl with confectioner’s sugar and vanilla puree. Either by hand or using a hand mixer, whisk cream until desired consistency. Place in refrigerator until ready to use.

Split biscuit in half, spoon macerated strawberries over biscuit and top with whipped cream. Serve immediately.

Makes 8-9 biscuits. Biscuits can also be frozen before baking for up to one month or the also make a great breakfast biscuit too.

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Notes:

  • If you can’t find or don’t have vanilla puree, just use vanilla extract. The puree just adds the little black flecks of the inside of a vanilla bean.
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