A recipe from Jack Dusty, Sarasota, FL
Created by Ritz-Carlton Exec Pastry Chef Thomas McGovern
For the strawberries:
1 cup sugar
1 fresh vanilla bean
2 pints fresh Florida Strawberries, cut in quarters
Zest of 1 lemon or 1 orange, your preference
For the shortcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
¾ cup softened unsalted butter (one and a half sticks)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup heavy cream
1 cup chilled heavy cream, whipped with 2 tablespoons sugar
Split the vanilla bean pod lengthwise and scrape seeds into small bowl with sugar. Mix with your hands until the vanilla bean seeds are evenly distributed throughout the sugar. Add citrus zest and cut strawberries. Mix to incorporate all ingredients, and let sit for an hour to two or until the strawberries are tender and have released much of their juices.
Meanwhile, prepare the shortcake crumble:
Position a rack in the center of an oven and preheat to 350°F. Grease and flour a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.
Combine dry ingredients in bowl. Set aside. In separate bowl, combine eggs, vanilla and heavy cream.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, cream the butter and sugar - on medium-high speed, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl - until mixture is light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add egg mixture, as well as flour mixture to mixer bowl and mix to combine all ingredients.
Using your hands, crumble the batter onto the sheet pan and bake until light brown, about 6 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the crumble comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
To serve, layer crumbled shortbread in bottom of jar. Add strawberry mixture with juice. Layer sweetened whipped cream. Repeat with shortbread and strawberries. Serve immediately.