I’m a fan of salt and sweet mixed together. My grandmother Lizzie Paulk often used biscuits in place of pastry in her recipes. Nowadays, most people use angel food cake or pound cake for this dessert, but I like the old-fashioned mix of the not-so-sweet biscuit with the sweetness of the strawberries and the whipped cream. I serve this dessert in the summer with fresh-picked berries from our local strawberry farm.
Swap option: Instead of making a composed cake, you can turn this into personal-sized bowls. Cut the cooked cake into cubes and assemble the cake pieces, berries and cream in individuals cups or bowls.
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Grease the bottoms of two 9-inch round cake pans.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Add the cold butter and cut in with 2 knives or a pastry blender to coarse-crumb consistency.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the milk until fully combined. Gradually stir the egg and milk mixture into the flour mixture. Knead the dough for no more than a minute on a lightly floured board. Pat half the dough into each cake pan. Brush the surfaces with the melted butter. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Turn the shortcake layers out onto cooling racks.
While the layers are cooling, wash the strawberries and remove the hulls. Reserve a few berries for garnish. Cut the large berries in half and sprinkle with the remaining 3/4 cup sugar. Let stand for about 30 minutes.
Spoon half of the berries with their juice over one shortcake layer. Place the second layer on top and spoon the remaining berries and juice over it. Top with whipped cream.