Real Strawberry Shortcake

Time: 30 minutes

6 cups cleaned and sliced strawberries
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups (about 9 ounces) cake flour, or use all-purpose
Pinch salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons cold butter
7/8 cup milk (low-fat is all right)
Sweetened whipped cream.

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Toss the strawberries with 1 cup sugar. Mix remaining sugar with flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl or food processor. Cut the butter into bits, and either pulse it a few times quickly in the processor with the dry ingredients or take a little of the dry ingredients, rub a bit of butter into them with your fingers and drop back in the bowl. All the butter should be thoroughly blended.

2. If you are using a food processor, add the milk in a slow stream, pulsing on and off, just to mix. (It is easier than it sounds.) Or slowly add the milk to the bowl, stirring it in with a large spoon until the mixture forms a ball. The mixture should be sticky; use a little more or less milk if necessary. Drop mixture onto an ungreased baking sheet, one heaping tablespoon per cake. Bake about 10 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown. (Keep an eye on them; once browning starts, it goes quickly.) Let cool a bit; top with strawberries and their juices and the whipped cream.

Yield: 12 servings.

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