Last weekend, Mr Man and I picked our own strawberries!
Berry picking is something I fondly remember doing as a kid. My family used to go every summer, and we would spend hours picking fruit at the farms before going home with very full bellies and kilos of beautiful raspberries and blueberries.
We would eat the berries fresh for days, ripple them through vanilla ice cream and bake them into lovely desserts.
I hadn’t been for years, and wanted to take Mr Man on a bit of a berry-picking adventure.
The farm we chose had an abundance of strawberries for picking, and we set to work. It was a lot of fun hunting for the beautifully ruby-red, ripe berries among all the bushes, and there’s just something about the flavour of strawberries that is just so much richer and juicier when they’re eaten freshly picked, still warm from being in the sun.
In celebration of my beautiful berry haul, I wanted to make a recipe for you that celebrated fresh strawberries, and strawberry shortcakes kept coming to mind.
The idea of making a leavened “shortcake” dough didn’t really appeal though – I wanted my shortcake to be short, crumbly and crispy, with the creamy chantilly and fresh bursts of berry as a contrast. So I used some leftover sweet shortcrust dough I had in the freezer (from when I made this tart!) to put this dessert together.
There’s no strict recipe to my strawberry shortcakes! You could make a half batch of the dough I used. My basic sweet pastry would also work well for the biscuits. But feel free to just use some leftover shortcrust you happen to have in the freezer. And there are so many ways you could arrange the strawberries to make these pretty, so just have fun! X
- A half quantity of sweet short pastry (see links below)
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 tbsp icing (confectioner's) sugar
- ½ vanilla pod
- 1 punnet of strawberries, washed and hulled
- Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and line a large tray with baking paper.
- To make the "shortcakes", roll out the shortcrust to about 4mm thick, and use a round cutter (whatever size you like!) to cut out circles from the pastry.
- Place these on the prepared baking tray, and prick each a few times with a fork. Refrigerate the tray for 10 minutes.
- Bake the shortcrust circles for 8 - 12 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- To make the chantilly cream, whip the cream, icing sugar and seeds from the vanilla pod until stiff.
- Pipe (or spread) the cream over the biscuits.
- Cut the strawberries in half or into slices, and arrange as desired over the cream.
- Have fun playing around! It makes around 8 - 12 strawberry shortcakes, depending on how you arrange your biscuits.
- Happy baking!
I loved this shortcrust recipe, but this sweet tart dough would also work well.