YIELD: 4 servings

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsps. sugar, divided
1½ Tbsps. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
8 Tbsps. cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces
2¼ cups heavy cream, divided
6 cups stemmed fresh strawberries, divided
1 cup simple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
confectioner’s sugar, as needed
mint chiffonade, for garnish

1. Sift flour, 2 Tbsps. sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl. With a fork or pastry cutter, cut in butter to fine particles. Stir in 1 to 1 1⁄2 cups cream (enough so that dough holds together and is soft but not sticky). On a floured surface, knead dough lightly a few times to form a ball. Pat into a 1⁄2-inch-thick circle. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 15 minutes.

2. Heat oven to 400°F. With a 2-inch round cutter, cut dough into 12 circles. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet; bake 15-20 minutes or until golden.

3. In a saucepan, simmer 4 cups strawberries with simple syrup until jam-like consistency; cool. Slice remaining strawberries. Whip 3⁄4 cup cream with vanilla and 1 Tbsp. sugar until soft peaks form.

4. To serve, cut shortcakes in half horizontally. Place 3 shortcake bottoms on each of 4 plates. Top with cooked strawberries, whipped cream and sliced strawberries, dividing ingredients evenly. Place tops on shortcakes; dust with confectioner’s sugar and sprinkle with mint.

Photo and recipe: California Strawberry Commission