Black Pepper Strawberry Shortcake

    I love biscuits and gravy so it shouldn't come to a surprise that I also love the dessert counterpart shortcakes with any kind of fruit. My mom would make strawberry shortcake with more of a sponge cake rather then a biscuits. I prefer it to be made with more of a dry cake, that can stand up to the whip and the juices of the strawberries without getting too mushy. I used a Martha Stewart recipe for the biscuit part. Put added in black pepper to the recipe cause a year ago I ate a black pepper strawberry shortcake at Rick Bayless's restaurant Frontera Grill in Chicago. It was the best thing even thou I couldn't tell where they put the pepper in the dish. 



  • 1 3/4 pounds (6 cups) strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and quartered
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons cold (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • Black pepper sugar (1 part pepper to 2-3 part white sugar)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, toss strawberries with 3/4 cup sugar; let sit to bring out their juices.

  2. In a food processor, pulse flour, baking powder, 1/2 cup sugar, black pepper and the salt until combined. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse  but with some pea-size bits of butter remaining, 10 to 12 times. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup cream and the eggs; pour over flour mixture, and pulse until some large clumps begin to form, 25 to 30 times.

  3. Using a half-cup measuring cup, gently pack dough, invert, and then tap out onto a baking sheet. Repeat to form 8 biscuits. Sprinkle with black pepper sugar. Bake until lightly golden, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool, about 15 minutes.