6
Jun
2016

The Strawberry Shortcake I never knew

How Macy’s American Icons National Strawberry Shortcake Day event introduced an Aussie girl to America’s favorite summertime dessert.

Our version of America's favorite summer dessert to celebrate National Strawberry Shortcake Day (photo by www.ittybittyfoodies.com)

Our version of America’s favorite summer dessert to celebrate National Strawberry Shortcake Day (photo by www.ittybittyfoodies.com)

Summer is here and it’s time to celebrate America’s favorite summertime dessert — the strawberry shortcake. June 14th is National Strawberry Shortcake Day.  But for a girl who grew up in Australia without this iconic American dessert, I don’t have a point of reference for strawberry shortcake, except maybe images of a doll my sister used to play with. Our IttyBittyFoodies boys are Americans so we’re adding strawberry shortcake to our list of American traditions (see below for Macy’s Culinary Council’s Strawberry Shortcake with Slow Roasted Strawberries and Chantilly Cream recipe). To kick off our summer plans, we’ll be zipping off to Union Square in San Francisco this June 14th for Macy’s American Icons event to celebrate National Strawberry Shortcake Day!

(Disclosure:This blog is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of Macy’s; however all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own)

When I enlisted my American friends for help for a recipe, I found that not one family made strawberry shortcake the same way. Some made it with store bought pound cake and layered it with whipped cream and strawberries. Other’s made it with scones or biscuits as the base before adding in either fresh strawberries or sauce and hand whipped cream (hand whipped or canned).

 

 

8 year old Lollo making whipped cream for the strawberry shortcake (photo by www.ittybittyfoodies.com)

8 year old Lollo making whipped cream for the strawberry shortcake (photo by www.ittybittyfoodies.com)

My friend, Stephanie Magilow, owner of Jammit! Jam recalls memories of her mother making a shortbread biscuit cut out in a shape of a big heart topped with a grainy sugar and layered with minted strawberries and whipped cream. “My mother was always known for her desserts,” says Magilow. When asked if she’d add in her own gourmet jam to the mix, she said with a resounding “No thank you, I’m a traditionalist!” I guess one does not mess with an American icon!

 

Eating the strawberry shortcake he made (photo by www.ittybittyfoodies.com)

Eating the strawberry shortcake he made (photo by www.ittybittyfoodies.com)

As a child of Vietnamese migrants, my friend Vyvy Phan shared her memories of the dessert as her family got acclimated to the all American dream. “As kids once a week my dad would take us to dinner at Wyatts Cafeteria in Casa view and we’d eat dinner and we’d get strawberry shortcake for dessert. It was a vanilla spongy round cake with a lowered center which would be topped with sugary red strawberry sauce and whipped cream in a large soup bowl.”

 

Macy's Strawberry Shortcake Recipe (photo courtesy of Macy's)

But despite all the differences, the underlying theme of their childhood memories circled around the family table. We tried it this weekend with pound cake we bought from the grocery store and let the children assemble it with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. It was easy and fun. And if you’re interested in making it from scratch check out Macy’s Culinary Council Expert and award-winning pastry chef Johnny Iuzzini’s Strawberry Shortcake with Slow Roasted Strawberries and Chantilly Cream! Do you have a strawberry shortcake childhood memory or a recipe? Please share it below in the comments.

 

Macy's slow roasted strawberries and chantilly cream recipe (photo courtesy of Macy's)

Macy’s slow roasted strawberries and chantilly cream recipe (photo courtesy of Macy’s)

This year, Macy’s at Union Square in San Francisco celebrates National Strawberry Shortcake Day with a cooking demonstration by Chef Yigit Pura. You might remember Chef Pura as one of the Bravo’s Top Chefs or the author of the book, “Sweet Alchemy: Dessert Magic”. San Francisco locals know him as chef/owner of Tout Sweet Patisserie located at Macy’s Union Square.

Details of the event:

Date: June 14th 2016

Time: 6pm

Macy’s Union Square

Cellar Kitchen, Lower Level
170 O’Farrell Street
San Francisco, CA 94102-2202

RSVP: tickets to the demo are free. Not all events require an RSVP

First 50 customers will receive a special gift from Pyrex – an American Icon for over 100 years!* Also, spend $35 or more in the Home Department that day and receive a free copy of Yigit’s book, Sweet Alchemy: Dessert Magic.*

*Event subject to change or cancellation. While supplies last. **Purchase must be made in the Home Department of Macy’s Union Square on Tuesday, June 14th. While supplies last.

Till our next Happy Meal!

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1 Response

  1. I grew up near Plant City, FL which is one of the biggest strawberry producers. Every year they have a strawberry festival and I would eat probably 4 giant strawberry shortcakes when I went. I ended up making my own fancy recipe using either basil or mint (whichever was on hand) chiffonades and vanilla infused whipped cream.

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