It was the Fourth of July and we had fresh strawberries and raspberries in the house.
We had to do something delicious and relatively quick with them. We had other food to make for all of us and we would not be delayed getting to our fireworks!
We threw around all kinds of ideas, starting from making a trifle (fantastically delicious, but three separate steps, plus assembly) to making strawberry pie (likewise, in all aspects) to just sugaring the berries and topping French vanilla ice cream with them.
None of these options hit the right spot with anyone. We were going to have to find something else to do with these beautiful berries.
Finally, it hit me. Strawberry (and raspberry) shortcakes!
That was it. We were off and running. And it just so happened that we had some speedy help in the cupboard: Gluten-Free Bisquick!
I have never had Bisquick in the house before this. Not the regular, glutenated variety. Not ever.
I have always made my pancakes and biscuits and muffins from scratch. My neighbor back in California, the venerable lemon meringue pie baker she was, was shocked to learn this. She could not believe I made everything from scratch. Yes, I did, and I was still making and eating gluten food then. I chose to do so, because I liked the results better.
Maybe this is why it wasn't very traumatic for me to start making my food gluten-free. I had already been making my own food for years. Really making my own food. Not just from a box or a bag.
Being gluten-free has raised my awareness of many new things, including different grains and flours. It has also raised my awareness of how, in a pinch, you can't just go buy some bakery-made shortcakes. That grocery store bakery isn't going to help you and not everyone has time to make their gluten-free food from scratch. This is why mixes are great.
We probably did have enough time on this Fourth of July to do from-scratch shortcake baking (no way for a full trifle), but I also wanted to try out something new. And I had not yet tried the Gluten-Free Bisquick sitting on my shelf. It was time.
So, we decided to try the Gluten-Free Bisquick to make our shortcakes.
And behold! There was even a recipe for strawberry shortcakes on the back of the box!
And why not? It sounded good for summertime berries and it would save us some time on a busy cooking day.
We just followed the directions. You can too. It's okay. It's allowed.
Here's our shortcakes, as instructed, just coming out of the oven. They were big!
After they cooled completely, I cut the shortcakes in half horizontally and then layered them with sugared berries and fresh, home-whipped whipped cream. Two layers of each, finishing with the whipped cream, of course.
Should I tell you that a guest of ours had never before had home-whipped, real, honest-to-goodness, go-for-the-gold whipped cream? Well, you could say we educated this individual. In a great way, mind you, in a great way! Fresh, the-real-deal, whipped cream! There's no going back, baby, to whatever else it was you've been having until now! Real whipped cream!
Here it is, just like the picture in the directions on the box. See, I told you it was okay to follow the instructions.
You might want to tell me that picture there of the finished product is a little dark. Well, you are right that it is a little dark. More than a little. You might be wondering why that picture is so dark.
That picture is dark because that is how low the sun was. Little sun equals little light. Little light equals a lot dark. And that was how close we were to fireworks time! The sun was headed down and we had to quickly gobble down our gluten-free strawberry (and raspberry) shortcakes!
We gobbled, but I don't recommend it. These were better than that. We just could have used a bit more strawberry and raspberry juice and then I would have been savoring. Slowly. Carefully. Leisurely.
Even without all the juice we really wanted, these were good! The gluten-free shortcakes held together reasonably well and absorbed the berry juice quite well. The taste of the shortcakes themselves was quite mild and not very remarkable, but that is probably just right. You wouldn't want them to overpower or distract from the berries and whipped cream.
The recipe called for making six shortcakes, which we made. According to the instructions. These ended up being too large for everyone, with all those luscious berries and whipped cream in there. Next time, I would make twice as many, half-size shortcakes. I think those would produce a much more manageable serving size. Others agreed.
Great! That just means those instructions on the back of the box will make twice as many servings as it tells you. So, you can choose to follow the instructions, as I did, and get six delicious, scrumptious shortcakes, or you can make twice as many and end up with twelve delicious, scrumptious shortcakes. Your choice!
Either way, Gluten-Free Bisquick is a great way to mix up a quick berry solution! Happy shortcakes!