It’s strawberry season again, that harbinger of summer. Oh the taste of freshly picked strawberries from the garden, I adore them and love to use them in as many ways as possible from jams to desserts to salads and of course in baking like these gorgeous strawberry shortcakes.
Strawberry shortcakes are always considered an American tradition but I reworked things a bit when I was writing my Simply Scottish Cakes & Bakes book and came up with this Scottish version.
The taste of summer
Way back in the dim and distant past (my youth) we only ever got strawberries when they were in season here in the UK, ie we got them in the summer months. They tasted wonderful, sweet and juicy. Nowadays you can buy them all year in the supermarket but they are invariably tasteless and full of water. Mass produced and imported from heaven knows where with a carbon footprint that would have any conservationist throwing up their hands in horror.
Buy strawberries in season, they are the best after growing your own of course.
The base of the strawberry shortcakes is basically shortbread, now you can’t get much more Scottish than that really! I’ve used Demerara sugar in my recipe for ecxtra taste and a bit of crunch too. Make sure you roll the dough out nice and thin for that real melt-in-the-mouth experience.
You will need;
All you will need is self raising flour, plain flour, butter, sugar and salt for the shortbread base and for the topping mascapone cheese, icing sugar, vanilla extract, pistatchio nuts to scatter on top and of course those all-important strawberries.
These strawberry shortcakes are so easy to make and look and taste great. Don’t just have them as a tea time tereat, they are good enough to serve as a dessert at a supper party too.
- 115 g/4oz self raising flour
- 25 g/1oz plain flour
- 115 g/4oz unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp demerara sugar
- pinch of salt
- 6-10 tbsp mascarpone cheese
- Icing sugar to taste
- few drops of vanilla extract
- 250 g/8oz strawberries hulled and halved
- 1 tbap pistachio nuts crushed
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line a baking tray
- You can easily do all this in your food processor
- Mix flours and salt with the butter to get a breadcrumb consistancy then add in the sugar and mix together till it comes together as a dough
- Wrap in clingfilm and pop into the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up and chill
- Cut dough into 6 pieces and roll out on floured surface to make thin circle about 2mm thick and measuring about 10cm , use a large cookie cutter for this.
- Place all circles on ungreased baking tray and bakefor 10-15 minutes till golden and firm to touch
- Remove from oven leave for 5 minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool completely
- Beat the mascarpone with vanilla extract and icing sugar
- Cover each disc with the topping then place the strawberry halves on top and scatter with a little icing sugar and the crushed pistachios