In this strawberry shortcake that feeds a crowd, a tender biscuit cushions a cloud of lightly sweetened cream and a tumble of juiced-up berries.
Technique tip: To bring out the best in the fruit, we tossed it with sugar, lemon juice and a generous pinch of salt.
Swap option: Peaches, plums, or nectarines can be swapped in for the strawberries if you prefer.
For the biscuits:1.
Preheat oven to 450°F. In a bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add butter-milk; stir until just combined.2.
Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead once or twice to help it come together. Pat into a 10- by 7-inch rectangle, about 3/4-inch thick. Cut lengthwise into thirds, then crosswise into fourths to create 12 equal pieces. Using a spatula, transfer to a 9½- by 12½-inch rimmed baking sheet or other pan, arranging pieces to roughly re-create original rectangle but leaving 1/2 inch between them.3.
Brush tops with cream; sprinkle generously with sanding sugar. Bake, rotating sheet once, until golden brown and cooked through, 25-28 minutes (gaps should be gone, so you have a single but easily separable biscuit). Let cool on sheet 10 minutes, then carefully lift with 2 large spatulas onto a wire rack. Let cool almost but not quite completely, about 1 hour.
For the berries and cream:
Meanwhile, combine strawberries, granulated sugar, salt, and lemon juice; let stand, stirring occasionally, until juicy, about 30 minutes. Beat cream with vanilla and powdered sugar on medium-high speed to stiff peaks.
Carefully slide biscuit onto a serving platter. Spoon 2 cups whipped cream over biscuit; top with 3 cups berry mixture, drizzling with some juices. Sprinkle with berry powder; serve immediately, with remaining whipped cream and berries on the side.