Servings: Serves 8
To prepare strawberries: In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup chopped berries, 5 tablespoons honey, lemon zest, vanilla bean, and verbena leaves. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 8 minutes. Remove vanilla bean; scrape seeds back into mixture. Cool to room temperature.
In a food processor, combine cooked strawberry mixture and remaining 1 cup chopped strawberries. Process just until smooth. Refrigerate until cold. In a large bowl, toss 6 cups halved strawberries with remaining 1 tablespoon honey; set aside.
To make shortcake biscuits: Preheat oven to 400°. In a food processor, combine whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt. Add frozen butter and lard; pulse briefly until mixture takes on the texture of coarse meal with some chunks of butter. In a small bowl, beat milk, honey, sour cream, and egg together with a fork. Add milk mixture to food processor, pulsing quickly until flour mixture moistens and dough just begins to stick. Do not over-mix.
Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface, and knead gently. With floured fingers, pat dough to a 10-by-5-inch rectangle, approximately 3/4-inch thick. With a floured knife, cut dough into 8 squares. Transfer to a baking sheet.
To make glaze and topping: In a small cup, stir melted butter and honey until blended. Brush biscuits with honey mixture and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool. In a medium bowl, beat cream with an electric mixer until thickened. Add sour cream; beat just until soft peaks begin to form. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
Cut biscuits in half. Spoon strawberry sauce on biscuit bottoms, and top with halved strawberries, more sauce, cream mixture, and biscuit tops. Garnish with lemon verbena sprigs.
From the October 2004 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
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