Place a mixing bowl and the beaters from your electric mixer in the freezer or refrigerator until well chilled, about 15 minutes.
Combine the heavy cream, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla extract in the mixing bowl.
With an electric mixer on low speed, begin beating the cream, gradually increasing the speed to high as cream thickens. (Do this slowly, or the cream will splatter all over!)
Beat until the cream forms soft peaks. Test to see if it is ready by turning off the mixer and lifting the beaters out of the cream if the cream makes soft peaks that topple over slightly, then it's done. Be careful not to overwhip, or the cream will separate and begin to taste like butter.
Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.
Yield: about 1 cup
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the strawberries have softened and given up their juices and mixture is chilled, about 1 hour.
While the strawberries are chilling, make the Totally-from-Scratch Biscuits.
When the biscuits are done, using oven mitts or pot holders, remove them from the oven and transfer to wire racks to cool. The shortcakes can be served warm or at room temperature.
To assemble the shortcakes: Using a knife or fork, split the biscuits in half horizontally and place the bottom halves on each of 8 plates.
Spoon 1/2 cup of the macerated strawberries on each bottom half. Top each serving with 3 tablespoons of Real Whipped Cream. Lean a biscuit top against each bottom and serve.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, work the cold butter into the flour until there are no butter pieces larger than a pea.
Sprinkle some of the all-purpose flour on a flat surface and place the dough on top of the flour. Using your hands, press the dough into a 1/2-inch thick disk about 8 inches in diameter.
Using a 3-inch round cutter dipped in flour, cut the dough into circles. Be sure to press straight downward when cutting the dough a twisting motion will prevent the dough from rising. You will need to re-form the scraps of dough in order to make 8 biscuits. Do this by gathering the scrap pieces together and pressing, re-form into a 1/2-inch thick disk, then cut as many additional biscuits as possible from the re-formed dough.
Place the biscuits on a small baking sheet and use a pastry brush to brush the tops with the melted butter. Sprinkle with the sugar.
Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown.
Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove the biscuits from the oven and allow to cool briefly and serve while still warm.