Strawberry and vanilla shortcakes

 

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It’s early July and there are fuzzy green balls flying about in London… that can only mean one thing… it’s the perfect time for strawberries! Now, we could’ve just shared a recipe for strawberries and cream, in true Wimbledon style, but how boring’s that? So instead, we’ve thrown in some shortcake and jam as well, just to spice things up! These strawberry and vanilla shortcakes are absolutely divine and the perfect tea-time (or tennis) treat for this time of the year.

Ingredients

  • 350g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 100g butter, cold, cubed
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
  • 100ml milk, warmed
  • 1 egg, plus a little extra beaten egg for glazing
  • squeeze lemon juice

For the topping

  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 227g tub clotted cream
  • 250g strawberry, thickly sliced
  • strawberry jam

Method

  1. Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7 and lightly flour a baking sheet. Put the flour, butter, sugar, half of the vanilla seeds and ¼ teaspoon of salt into the bowl of a food processor, then pulse until fine. Tip into a large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the milk, egg and a good squeeze of lemon together, then tip into the bowl with the dry mixture and bring together with a knife, using a cutting action, until you have a clumpy dough. Finally bring together with your hands if you need to.
  3. Lightly flour the work surface, tip the dough onto it, then quickly shape into a smooth-ish disc. Using a rolling pin, pat out to 2cm thick. Cut out 8 rounds with a smooth 7cm cutter (you’ll need to pinch together the trimmings). Glaze just the tops with beaten egg, transfer to the floured sheet, then bake for 10-12 mins until risen and golden, and they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool on a wire rack.
  4. Beat the remaining vanilla seeds and icing sugar into the clotted cream. It will get runnier at first, but keep beating and it will thicken again. To serve, slice the very top from each shortcake to give a flat surface, then spoon over about 1 tsp jam. Top with a good dollop of the vanilla clotted cream and finish with the strawberries.

Simple yet elegant, these treats are perfect for eating whilst watching the tennis, or for an afternoon tea or tea party.

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