Bake universal crust in flat square or round tins. Split, spread with butter or not, and cover lower half with a generous layer of fruit. Turn the upper half over so that the cut side is up, and cover that, too, with fruit.
A meringue or fluff may be used sometimes for ornamentation, but if fruit is properly prepared and freely used, cream will not be required; it would better be saved for some more necessary place.
Two very thin crusts may be used, but the fruit flavor does not penetrate them as it does the split crust. Make the crust stiff enough to give a fine grain but not so stiff as to be hard. It may be baked in not too thick biscuit for individual serving.
Crusts may be baked several days beforehand and kept closely covered. To serve, dip in cold water, slip in paper bag, set in hot oven for about 10 m. and use as fresh baked crust.
Do not use cake, or a sweetened crust, and call it "shortcake. '
One in writing of strawberry short cake says: "It must be remembered that the fruit must be served on a genuine shortcake not the sweet cake of the restaurant and of too many households, but the plain, unsweetened cake that was the delight of our fathers, and which is still the joy of those who have been so fortunate as to have made the acquaintance of the blessings of the tasty and nutritious cookery of the olden times.'
Some unsweetened, flaked, cereal preparations, crisped in the oven, make delightful shortcakes by sprinkling a few flakes on a plate, covering them with prepared fruit, then sprinkling the fruit generously with flakes. They must be served as soon as prepared.