(These guys will give us pretty much the exact arrival of bad weather. I basically trust them with my life -- especially Dave. My weather hero. I like racing around town in the hours before a storm is supposed to hit because I have a certain way of feeling prepared, and like most Memphians, it involves a mandatory trip to the grocery store. It is in our blood. Those who have come here from other places, you're simply not allowed to make fun of it.)
So we ran out to SuperLo to get our basil and cream. Although it was supposed to be a quick trip, the cash register broke, and we waited and waited. It was actually pretty entertaining. We finally whisked away our purchases, made a beeline for home, and had this dessert made before one of us fell fast asleep in the safest spot, the hallway, after 11 during the storm sirens and wind. I do love this town.
Strawberry-Basil Shortcake Sliders
(adpated from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book)
1 cups sifted AP flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 cup butter (half a stick)
1 small beaten egg
1/3 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Sift dry ingredients and cut in butter until there's a coarse crumb. Add in egg and cream and stir gently. Use a small, 1-tbsp. ice cream scoop to portion out hearty, mini clumps of biscuit dough. Put these on a silpat-lined sheet pan and bake for about 8 minutes. Let them cool for a bit and then split them. Set aside.
2 cups sliced strawberries
1/3 cup cane sugar
juice from half a lemon
Combine all ingredients and mash them with a potato masher. Cook in a saucepan on medium-low heat for about an hour or until mixture reaches a jam-like consistency. Stir it often. Set aside to cool.
Basil Compound Butter
1/4 cup loosely-packed basil
1 1/2 tbsp. butter
Mix these two ingredients up in a food processor and set aside in fridge.
Putting the shortcake sliders together in the end:
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup strawberries (small dice)
Whip the cream and add a small dollop of it on the plate. Place the bottom half of the biscuit on top of this. Spread a little basil butter on it and then add warm strawberry jam. Add fresh strawberries and then the whipped cream. Place the top of the biscuit on the stack last. Garnish each slider with a tiny bunch of boxwood basil.
(Now I need to go pick some more!)