Sweet Summer, Sweet Shortcake

dinette0

dinette0 I think the bellwether of Michigan summers has to be the strawberry. I used to take my girls picking every June and bring them home for pies, jam, freezing, and, of course, strawberry shortcake.  For years I tried many different shortcake recipes. My husband likes angel food which doesn’t have enough substance for me. Many shortcake devotees would never eat anything that didn’t taste or look like a biscuit. Too dry and bland for me. I prefer a dense, sweet, cake. Pound cake is close, but a bit too rich and the texture is too fine. The best recipe I have ever found is called a dinette cake. Must have evolved from diners in the 40’s and 50’s. I am quite certain it was a mainstay for families during that time too because it is a one-bowl wonder. During the years when kids actually took lunch boxes it would have held up well wrapped in wax paper, like my PBJ sandwiches were, knocking around with the metal thermos of milk. The beauty of this cake is that it is dense enough to hold up against the strawberry juice without being like a hockey-puck biscuit. And yet, it has plenty of sugar to make it taste and feel like dessert. I usually bake this in a round pan or pie plate. I cut wedges and then slice through them and lather on the crushed strawberries and whipped cream. The original recipe hails from my old, beat-up, Betty Crocker cookbook. The first one I ever owned. The only change I have made is to replace shortening with butter. You can make with either, but most cooks don’t use the “white stuff” anymore! Happy summer to all, and get pickin’! Dinette Cake

 
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