Combine strawberries, ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in medium bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Combine flour, ⅓ cup (75g) granulated sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Add cold, diced butter and cut in using a pastry cutter until fully combined with flour (mixture should resemble fine crumbs). Chill in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
In the meantime, pre-heat oven to 425°F (220°C). Lightly butter a 10-inch (26cm) cast iron skillet or line a cookie sheet with baking parchment.
Blend buttermilk, heavy cream and egg in a large measuring jug. Pour into chilled flour/butter mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon just until moistened (do not over-mix!).
Place dough on generously floured surface. Flour hands well and pat dough to 1 ¼ inch (3cm) thickness, about 8x8 inches (20x20cm) in size.
Using a 2 ¼ - 2 ¾ inch (5.75 - 7cm) biscuit cutter, cut into 8-10 biscuits (gather and re-roll scraps until all dough has been used). Dip biscuit cutter into flour each time; do not twist when cutting biscuits for best results.
Place biscuits into prepared skillet or on lined cookie sheet; lightly touching each other. Lightly brush tops with heavy cream and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake biscuits in hot oven for 15-18 minutes, until deep golden in color. Cool in the pan or on the cookie sheet for 3-4 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to cool for another 5-8 minutes.
Carefully break biscuits apart, split and fill with whipped cream and macerated strawberries. Serve immediately.
Butter: Your butter must be cold from the fridge. If you need to use margarine for any kind of reason, you must use stick margarine. A spread will not work in any way.
Heavy cream: I like adding a bit of heavy cream to the biscuits, because it makes them extra-rich and decadent. Feel free to substitute this with more buttermilk if you don’t have any cream on hand.
Buttermilk: While it is possible to create a quick and easy buttermilk substitute by stirring 1 teaspoon white vinegar (or lemon juice) into regular milk, I highly recommend buying actual buttermilk for this recipe. Both the taste and the rise of the biscuits are far superior when made with real buttermilk.
Coarse sugar: I use coarse brown sugar for a sparkling, golden finish on the biscuits. Feel free to use regular coarse sugar.
Whipped cream: When I’m making strawberry shortcake from scratch, I tend to feel I need to go all out and make homemade whipped cream. Feel absolutely free to use store-bought whipped cream, if you want to save some time!
Strawberries: I really enjoy the classic recipe here, with strawberries just gently macerated with sugar. My kids love it when I make my homemade strawberry topping to go with the shortcake! And I have to admit, the extra jammy sauce is nice here 😉
Make sure to use cold ingredients for the biscuits. Only remove the buttermilk, butter, cream and egg from the fridge right before making the biscuit dough. Using chilled ingredients, working fast and keeping the dough cold is absolutely important to yield fluffy biscuits.
Chill the butter/flour mixture. I highly recommend chilling the flour/butter mixture for 10 minutes before proceeding with the recipe. This will help the butter to firm up again (it softens somewhat as it is worked into the flour) to yield fluffier biscuits. I also much prefer chilling at this stage vs chilling the finished dough, because in my experience the biscuits come out taller when handled and baked quickly once the dough comes together.
Do not twist the cutter when cutting biscuits. You only want to move the cutter up and down, do not twist it when cutting the biscuits. It helps to dip the cutter in flour before each biscuit, as they will release easier/without twisting. This ensures the edges don’t twist and seal, yielding taller biscuits.
It helps to let the biscuits touch as they bake. They support each other and help each other come out taller. Don’t worry if you’re a beginner and your biscuits get a little wide vs very tall; you can still easily break or cut them apart and unless something went horribly wrong, they are still perfectly delicious to fill and eat.
Only chill the biscuits for around 10 minutes after baking; they taste best served warm. Do not let them sit in the skillet or on the cookie sheet for more than a few minutes, or they will soften and get soggy on the bottom. You’ll want to move them to a cooling rack (as they bake closely together, I usually just place the cooling rack over the skillet and then carefully invert to remove them all; then quickly flip to cool a little more before splitting them to serve).
Allow biscuits to cool to room temperature, then pack up in a freezer bag and label with the name and date. Freeze for up to 3 months.To defrost, allow to sit in the bag on the counter for 15-20 minutes, then remove from the bag and place on a wire rack on the counter. Allow to defrost for several hours, until no longer frozen in the middle. Warm in bursts in the microwave before serving with whipped cream and strawberries.