Midsummers Day may have been and gone, but we still (I hope) have many weeks of summer to be enjoyed. I know that those of you with vegetable patches or allotments will be reaping the benefits of all your hard work with an abundance of soft fruits, garlic, onions, peas, beans and salad crops all to be harvested. The rest of us will have to make do with shops and Farmers Market’s – less work, but not quite as satisfying either!
When it comes to buying Strawberries and Raspberries you really do HAVE to buy British – nothing else compares. They are so good eaten straight from the punnet that it can be a challenge to ever get as far as putting them in to a pudding, but if you can manage to wait, here is a recipe for one of my absolute favourites, and a real English Classic at that!
Individual Strawberry Shortcakes
Prep time: Up to 1 hour
Cook time: Up to 1 hour
Ingredients – for the shortbread
- 225g (8oz) plain flour
- 100g (3 ½ oz) caster sugar
- 225g (8oz) butter at room temperature
- 100g (3 ½ oz) semolina
- 25g (1oz) caster sugar
Ingredients – for the filling
- 500g (1 ½ oz) strawberries – hulled & cut into quarters
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 300ml / 10 ½ fl oz double cream
- 100ml / 4 fl oz thick, natural yoghurt
- Extra strawberries to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 140C/280F. Put the flour, caster sugar, butter and semolina into a food processor and process until the mixture is thoroughly combined and comes together to form a dough. This can also be done by hand, rubbing the butter into the flour first, then adding the sugar and semolina and working the ingredients together to form a ball.
- Roll the dough out on a floured surface to 1-2cm/½in thick. Using a circular cookie cutter or the top of a drinking glass, cut the dough into circles. Place the circles into a lightly greased tin and sprinkle the top with the caster sugar.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the shortbread is pale golden and cooked through. Keep an eye on it in case it gets too brown. Allow the shortbread to cool for a few minutes then carefully lift each shortbread with a small palette knife and place on a wire rack to cool completely. (These can now be stored in an airtight container.)
- Meanwhile to make the filling whip the double cream and caster sugar to form soft peaks.
- Add the yoghurt to lighten a little.
- Place one shortbread circle on a small plate and place on a large dollop of cream, then a few strawberries.
- Place another shortbread circle on top and repeat the process again, finishing off with a final shortbread circle and then a strawberry!
In season this month
Fruits & Nuts
Apricot, Blueberries, Cherries, Gooseberries, Greengages, Rhubarb, Strawberries, Blackcurrants, Raspberries, Redcurrants, Whitecurrants
Vegetables & Herbs
Globe Artichokes, Aubergine, Beetroot, Broad Beans, Broccoli, Carrots, Courgette, Fennel, French Beans (whole pod), Garlic, Jersey Royal New Potatoes, Kohl Rabi, Lettuce & Salad Leaves, Mangetout, Onions, Pak Choi, Peas, Radishes, Rocket, Runner Beans, Samphire, Spinach, Spring Onions, Swiss Chard, Tomatoes, Watercress
Meat & Game
Lamb, Rabbit, Wood pigeon
Fish & Shellfish
Cod, Coley, Crab, Dover Sole, Haddock, Halibut, Herring, Langoustine, Mackerel, Plaice, Pollack, Prawns, Salmon, Sardines, Scallops, Sea Bream, Sea Trout, Shrimp, Squid, Whelks, Whitebait
Going out of season
Blackcurrants, Broad Beans, Loganberries
Suzanne is a professional chef, wife and mother who has lived in South East London all her life.
You can email Suzanne with any comments or questions at email@example.com
This feature first appeared in the July 2015 issue of SE22 magazine.