For our simple and iconic shortcake, we discovered a great double-stacking technique that creates super light and high biscuits that are easy to split. This makes them easy to fill without crumbling. A simple recipe like this one allows its ingredients to shine, so use the very best berries you can find.
For the shortcakes: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Whisk the heavy cream, sour cream and vanilla in a small bowl; refrigerate until ready to use. Pulse the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt in a food processor until combined. Add the butter; pulse until the mixture looks like fine meal. Pour in the chilled heavy cream mixture and pulse until just combined.
Lightly flour a work surface and dump the dough onto it. Pat out the dough 1/2-inch thick. Cut out as many biscuits as you can with a 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter. Then pat the remaining dough out to 1/2-inch thick again. Cut more biscuits; you should get 12.
Put 6 of the biscuits on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops generously with cream, then top each cream-brushed biscuit with one of the remaining biscuit rounds. (This makes it easier to split once they are baked.) Brush the top of each biscuit stack with more heavy cream and sprinkle 1 teaspoon granulated sugar on each biscuit.
Bake the biscuits until golden and puffed, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.
Meanwhile, for the topping: Toss the strawberries and 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar in a medium bowl.
Just before serving, beat the heavy cream, sour cream, the remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar and vanilla in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.
Split the shortcakes in half. Spoon half the cream on the bottom of the biscuits, top evenly with the strawberries and top with the remaining cream. Put each biscuit top on and serve.
When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)
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