Za'atar is a Middle Eastern spice mix that adds a mysteriously tangy, herb-forward flavour to any ho-hum dish. Use it in salads and on bread, chicken, and seafood.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled
- 1 1/4 cups whipping (35%) cream
- Additional whipping cream for brushing
- Icing sugar, for dusting
- 1/2 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract)
- 4 cups fresh summer strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup whipping (35%) cream
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Prepare the shortcakes: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt. Using a stand or hand grater, grate in butter. Using a wooden spoon, mix in cream until dough comes together.
Turn out onto a floured surface and pat dough into a 1-inch-thick circle. Using a round cutter, cut into 3-inch rounds (for mini cakes, use a 2-inch cutter). Transfer dough circles to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. (Make ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours, or freeze in an airtight container for up to 1 month. When baking from frozen, increase baking time to 25 minutes, 20 minutes for minis.)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush tops of dough circles with cream and dust with icing sugar. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes, 10 minutes for minis.
Prepare the strawberries: Using a paring knife, split vanilla bean in half lengthwise and gently scrape seeds into a large bowl. Add strawberries and sugar; toss to combine. Let stand for at least 30 minutes to blend the flavours. (Make ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 hours.) Makes 4 cups.
Prepare the Chantilly cream: In a bowl, whip cream until soft peaks form. Add icing sugar and vanilla; whip until just combined. Makes 1 cup.
To assemble: Cut shortcakes in half horizontally. For each serving, place the bottom half of a shortcake on a plate and generously spoon on strawberries and juices. Dollop with Chantilly cream and cover with top half of shortcake. Dust with Icing sugar.
Makes 8 individual cakes or 20 mini cakes.