Strawberry Shortcakes - with variations

900g strawberries (reserve a couple for decoration)
6 tbsp sugar (reduce if you don't like it too sweet)

300g plain flour, plus extra for flouring
5 tbsp sugar (3 for the mix and 2 for the baking)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
110g cold butter
1 large egg - lightly beaten
130ml milk
Icing sugar (optional)

Place 1/3 of the strawberries (or other fruit) in a large bowl and crush, you can use a potato crusher or just the back of a serving spoon. Slice the remaining strawberries and stir into the crushed ones and add the sugar. Cover and leave on one side; doesn't need to be in the fridge.

Blend the butter into the flour, using the rubbing in method. When the texture is that of fine breadcrumbs add the remaining ingredients (3 tbsp sugar, salt and baking powder).

Combine the beaten egg with the milk, and add to the flour mixture. Mix with a knife (my gran told or rather showed me how to do this) but you could use a fork or some other fancy gadget like a food mixer.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead lightly until it comes together.

Using your fingertips, pat the dough into a rectangular shape about 2cm high. Flour a circular 7cm bisuit cutter and cut out your rounds of dough. Place the rounds on an oiled baking sheet and dust the tops with the remaining sugar,

Place into a pre-heated oven (220oC), in the lower/middle section and back for 12-15 mins or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the tray before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

When cool, split the shortcakes in half and place the bottom half on a plate, top with a spoonful of the strawberries, and top with a some whipped or clotted cream. Place the top half of the shortcake on top and dredge with some icing sugar or a whole strawberry. Serve immediately.

  • Raspberries - I love the sharpness of the fruit and it's natural affinity with the shortcake
  • Rhubarb - gently stew until just cooked and allow to cool
  • Blueberries - I like them cooked but you could use them raw
  • Bananas & Dulce con Leche - not my taste but a variation on banoffee pie
  • Nectatines/Peaches - gently poach in some white wine/vanilla pods and allow to cool then slice thinly

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