Narsai David Food & Wine Report: Charlie’s Mother’s Cloud Biscuits

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SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— The strawberries this spring have been absolutely marvelous. They’re big and red which really means they got a chance to ripen before they pick them and they’re full of flavor and what’s the best thing to do with strawberries? Well, make strawberry shortcake of course.

Charles Myers, who owns Harbor Winery in Sacramento gave me a recipe years ago and we labeled it ‘Charlie’s Mother’s Cloud Biscuits’. It makes the best shortcake ever.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 TBS sugar
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup butter (1 stick), cold from the refrigerator
1 egg
2/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 450°F. Cut the butter in half lengthwise, and then into ¼ inch slices In a large bowl sift together the flour, sugar and baking powder. Add the butter and mix until the mixture is crumbly. Mix in the egg and milk until they are barely incorporated. Pat or roll out the dough lightly on a floured board to about ½-inch thickness. With a floured biscuit cutter or the rim of a glass, cut the dough into 12 biscuits. Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet with space between them and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden and fluffy.

NOTE: To use this recipe for shortcake, increase the sugar to two tablespoons and proceed as above. Spread the finished dough evenly in a cake pan. If using a 9-inch pan, bake for 20 minutes; an 8-inch pan, for 25 minutes. A toothpick tested in the center should come out clean. When the cake has cooled, cut it into two layers. Fill with strawberries or other fruit of your choice mixed with a bit of sugar to taste. Top with whipped cream.

OPTIONAL: Sprinkle 1 – 2 TBS coarse sugar such as Demerara or Raw Sugar over top of cake

Recipe © 2009 by Narsai M. David

Narsai David is the KCBS Food and Wine Editor. He has been a successful restaurateur, chef, TV host, and columnist in the Bay Area spanning four decades. You can hear him Saturdays at 10:53 a.m., 12:53 p.m. and 4:53 p.m., and at 2:53 a.m. Sunday on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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