Strawberry Shortcake is ... for lack of a better term ... scrumtrulescent. It's the hibbity dibbity. It's really just the absolute best. I don't know if the following statement is true, but ... in my mind ... it's a true American classic. It's wonderful, delicious and amazing, all at the same time. It's also something we can eat. YAY!
Older American recipes actually used pie dough scraps. Then, somewhere, it evolved into more of a sweetened biscuit or "scone" like pastry. It had "short"ning cut into the flour, then was baked and topped with strawberries. Somewhere along the way, it evolved into more of a spongecake-like creature. Those sweet little hockey pucks next to the berries helped this along, I'm sure.
I'm using a pound cake; somewhat of a cross between the sponge cake and a biscuit. It's cakey, but dense and not quite as sweet as a sponge cake. I also recommend using whipped cream with this, but in the photos, I was being wacky and served them with a toasted almond-lemon-thyme ice cream (secret recipe ... hint ...)
. The tartness from the ice cream and the warm slices of pound cake were really just a great twist to what I want to call a true American classic.
Sugar has a very slight thickening ability. Most sugar free sweeteners do not. As a result, if you use the guar gum in this recipe, it will slightly thicken the berry juices that will develop and it will be just a shade closer to the strawberry shortcake that you know and love. If you use the guar gum, blend the guar with a powdered sugar equivalent, prior to adding to the strawberries. This will evenly distribute the guar throughout the sweetener powder and will be less likely to clump. If you're using a liquid sweetener, then try and "dust" the strawberries with the guar and quickly mix them, to prevent clumping.