I've said this before, but I'll say it again - there's nothing like an Oregon strawberry. There are lots of varieties available this time of year, but my favorite is the Hood. If you follow social media around here, the beginning of June is filled with posts of "I just found Hoods! You can buy them at ___!" They're a local berry celebrity.
We invited a couple of our friends over for dinner, and since it's berry season, I thought strawberry shortcake would be the perfect dessert. The thing is, I wasn't feeling very inspired by the usual biscuits, or those cakes that look like they were made from Twinkies. I wanted something a little different.
It turned out, the day of our event was National Doughnut Day. Also, both my husband and one of the friends coming over are police officers, so the doughnut thing seemed like it was meant to be.
I wasn't sure what kind of doughnut would work best for these, so I bought glazed and crullers. The way we prepared them (suggested by my husband) definitely calls for the glazed variety. I'll explain why in a minute.
To make four servings, you'll need:
2 pints of strawberries
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 glazed doughnuts
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons bourbon (or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract if you'd prefer)
Start by washing the strawberries, removing the caps and slicing into a bowl. Fold in the sugar. Let the berries sit at room temperature for one hour, then move to the refrigerator.
Put your mixing bowl and whisk attachment into the freezer.
Heat a cast iron skillet to medium. Slice the doughnuts in half. Butter the cut sides. This is not health food my friends, but I'm a firm believer in occasional treats.
Lay the doughnuts butter side down in the skillet. Toast for 1 - 3 minutes, or until nicely browned.
I had planned to do this on the grill with plain doughnuts, but as I said, this was my husband's idea. I was afraid the glaze would just melt everywhere, but instead the edge did this amazing caramelizing thing, while the rest stayed intact. It created a crispy edge that was so, so good.
After the doughnuts are prepared, pull the bowl and whisk from the freezer. Add the cream, sugar and bourbon. I added an extra 1/2 teaspoon of bourbon to my second batch, so feel free to adjust to your taste. Whip for one minute or until it has reached whipped cream consistency.
Lay the two sides of the doughnut in your serving dish with the toasted side face up. This was a perfect use for my cute little skillets. We did a test run early in the day, so I didn't use a full doughnut, but when we served them later I put both sides in, overlapping a bit. No one complained about too much doughnut.
Cover the doughnut with the sweetened strawberries. I like my shortcake berry-forward, so I used a lot, but you can adjust to your taste.
Top the berries with a generous dollop of the bourbon whipped cream and garnish with an extra strawberry.
Everyone LOVED this, even our friend who doesn't ordinarily like strawberry shortcake because of the soggy cake! My gluten-free son-in-law had some of the strawberries and bourbon whipped cream on vanilla ice cream, and that was a winner as well. You can't go wrong with Oregon strawberries!