Strawberry shortcake

Strawberry shortcake

By
From
Real Food by Mike
Serves
4
Photographer
Alan Benson

A shortcake is a cross between shortbread and a scone. It’s crucial not to be tempted to overbake these shortcakes as you want them a little cakey inside. Don’t serve them hot either, as they need to firm up a little and if they are warm they will melt your cream filling. The shortcakes are also delicious with other fillings, such as lemon curd, or crème fraîche and honey, or you can try different berries or fruit.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500g strawberries, hulled, halved if large
100g caster sugar
1 tablespoon strawberry liqueur or framboise or brandy
chantilly cream
icing sugar, for dusting

Shortcake

Quantity Ingredient
300g plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons caster sugar
125g butter
125-190ml pouring cream, plus extra for brushing

Method

  1. Cover the strawberries with the sugar and leave them to purge overnight.
  2. The next day, drain the berries. In a small saucepan over medium heat, reduce the liquid to form a light syrup. Add a splash of strawberry liqueur. Put the strawberries in the pan and, using the back of a fork, squash them a little so they are slightly bruised – this will help thicken the syrup. Cook until the syrup is thick and the strawberries are tender.
  3. For the shortcake, preheat the oven to 200°C. Grease and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  4. Sift the flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, the baking powder and sugar into a bowl. Rub the butter into the mixture with your fingertips, as you would for scone (biscuit) dough. Add the cream and mix until you have a sticky dough, then allow to rest for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  5. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 1 cm thickness and cut into discs 7–10 cm in diameter. Place the discs on the prepared baking tray and brush them with the extra cream. Bake for 10–12 minutes until golden. Remove the shortcakes from the oven and place them on a wire rack to cool. To serve, split the shortcakes crossways, fill them with the chantilly cream and strawberries, and dust with icing sugar.

Medicinal Benefit

  • Fresh berries are an excellent source of vitamin C, a powerful natural antioxidant, and of B complex vitamins. These aid in converting food into energy, keeping the body running like a well-oiled machine. Strawberries also contain vitamin A, vitamin E and beta-carotene in small amounts. All of these compounds protect the cells against free radicals, which play a role in premature ageing and in various disease processes.
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