Not your traditional strawberry shortcake! This creamy layered dessert is based on a rich shortbread crust.
Several of us content creators for a major culinary website were approached to develop a strawberry shortcake-like dessert for a leading berry producer. I was up to this challenge because I just love strawberries.
Honestly, I’m not much into strawberry shortcake though, but I do love strawberry cheesecake, so I based my dessert off that. And keeping with the “shortcake,” I decided to make a layered strawberries and cream dessert with a rich shortbread cookie crust.
|Another angle to strawberry shortcake|
Yes, the dessert is a little involved to make–there’s steps and a chilling process, but it’s easy to do. It’s just that there’s no instant gratification for this–waiting is involved!
I caution that it’s a bit messy to cut if you want perfect slices. Just cut with a wet and sharp knife and a offset spatula will help you remove the portions. But if it does fall apart, why worry? We’re going for taste here, not beauty!
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- Cream Filling:
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 3 tbs confectioners sugar
- 1/4 cup milk or half and half
- 1 tsp unflavored gelatin
- Strawberry Layer:
- 1 pkg (4-serving size) strawberry gelatin
- 1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/4 cup cold water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 8×8 or 9×9-inch baking pan with non-stick spray.
In a large bowl, combine the flour and confectioner’s sugar; mix well. Cut butter into chunks and add to flour mixture. Cut in butter, as if you were making a pie crust–you can use a pastry blender, 2 knives or your hands. The mixture should look like small peas.
Press crust into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until crust begins to brown around edges. Remove from oven and cool completely.
Prepare cream filling: Place cream/milk in a heatproof container. Sprinkle unflavored gelatin on cream/milk. Let sit for 5 minutes to soften.
Beat cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar until well blended.
Heat cream mixture in microwave until very hot–about 20 seconds. Stir until gelatin is completely dissolved.
Beat cream/gelatin mixture into cream cheese mixture. Pour on top of crust. Chill while preparing strawberry topping.
Strawberry topping: In a small bowl, mix strawberry gelatin with the hot water; stir until gelatin is dissolved. Add cold water. Place bowl in refrigerator and chill until gelatin just begins to mound. It should look like congealed stock.
Add the sliced strawberries and stir well to distribute. Pour on top of cream cheese layer of dessert. Chill until very firm–about 4 hours.
When ready to serve, let dessert sit at room temperature about 5-10 minutes. Cut with a wet knife. Serve with whipped cream or whipped topping.
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