Tuesday, September 21, 2010

strawberries & shortbread

When John & I arrived back in England after two weeks in the Caribbean, we felt the shift in temperature. Having got used to the sunny climbes of Barbados, it was a slight shock to our systems coming back to the cool, fresh and distinctly Autumnal feeling in England.

That said, there are still the last signs of Summer peeking out here and there. The sun is still shining. The leaves on the trees are not yet golden. The butter in the butter dish is still soft enough to spread. And the greengrocers is still selling big fat juicy strawberries that simply must be bought and eaten before it's too late.

So that is exactly what I did. To make the occasion even better than it already was, it just so happened that yesterday I baked a batch of shortbread & I can think of nothing better to accompany a fresh slice of shortbread than a handful of strawberries.

Brown Sugar Shortbread: makes 2 large circles; approx; 16 slices

250g unsalted butter
120g soft brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
220g plain flour
70g cornflour
50g ground almonds
pinch of sea salt
granulated sugar for sprinkling

1) preheat the oven to 140C (fan oven) / 160C / gas 3 & line 2 baking trays with baking paper
2) beat together the butter & sugar with a pinch of sea salt. mix until pale
3) beat in the vanilla extract
4) grandually fold in the flour, cornflour & ground almonds, gently folding until combined
5) divide the dough in half. roll out each half between two sheets of baking paper to make 20cm circles
6) chill in the fridge for 10 mins
7) remove the top layer of baking paper and pinch around the edges with your thumb & forefinger to create a fluted effect. score the circles into triangular segments to make cutting easier.
8) sprinkle with granulated sugar & bake in your pre-heated oven for 25-30 mins until it starts to turn golden at the edges
9) cut into wedges and enjoy!

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