Coast Guard Kitchen: A Patriotic Pastry

Written by Seaman Sarah Wilson

Red, white and blue never tasted so good. From the buttery sugar biscuit below to the perfectly peaked whipped cream and rebelliously runny juices of the berries, Chief Petty Officer Dustin Beasley’s patriotic strawberry shortcake is the culinary crown to top off this year’s Labor Day weekend.

“The different textures and colors make every bite interesting,” said Beasley, a food services specialist and special command aid to the Coast Guard 13th District commander. “Life is too short not to enjoy the little things, like the crunch of a biscuit under the silky texture of homemade whipped cream.”

Beasley said good biscuits start with cold butter. Keep the butter as cold as possible when cutting it into the dough prevents it from melting until the biscuits are in the oven. As it does, it will leave air pockets that help create flaky, peelable layers – the hallmark of a perfect pastry.

However decadent, this simple Labor Day recipe is far from laborious:

Short Cake Sugar Biscuits with Whip Cream and Fresh Fruit

Strawberry Compote (or other fresh berries)

2 cups diced strawberries (Only dice strawberries; if other berries are used, do not cut.)
4 T sugar
2 T cold water

Add all ingredients to a bowl and gently toss. Let sit until ready to add to shortcake.

Sugar Biscuit Recipe

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top
1 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons very cold, unsalted butter
1 cup whole milk

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425. Add baking powder, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl and whisk out lumps. Add above ingredients and grate butter or cut into pats and add to flour, then mix until the mixture resembles rough crumbs. Add milk and stir with a fork until it forms a rough ball.
2. Place the dough out onto a well-floured surface and form into a rectangle, about an inch thick. Fold it over and gently pat it down again. Repeat once.
3. Cut dough into biscuits using a biscuit cutter. Do not twist cutter when cutting; this crimps the edges of the biscuit and impedes its rise.
4. Place biscuits, touching each other to help rise, on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar and bake until they start to brown, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

Whipped Cream Recipe

1 pint of heavy cream
½ cup sugar to taste

1. Add heavy cream to mixer and whip on med/high for 2-3 minutes or until it just starts to thicken.
2. Add sugar and mix on low/medium. Taste after about 30 seconds and add sugar if necessary.
3. Mix until stiff peaks form.
(Stiff peaks are when you pull the whisk off and hold it upside down and the whip cream doesn’t fall over.)

Shortcake

Cut biscuits in half. Place a spoonful of whip cream in between halves. Top biscuit with whip cream and pour strawberry compote over the top.

Bon Appetit!

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