Sunday, May 22, 2011

Why shortcake? Well.. why not?

After another week of slacking around, it's time to get back into the Edmonds book again. There wasn't a particular recipe I wanted to do, so I quite arbitrarily decided to make apple shortcake squares (p60). It's pretty much the standard apple shortcake you see in bakeries everywhere: a layer of apple sandwiched between two layers of buttery cake.

I peeled and sliced three Granny Smiths and got them in a saucepan with a little sugar and water. Once that was sorted, I went to make the shortcake.. and was brought up short by the fact that I didn't have any flour. Stupid really, since I'd actually made a special trip to the supermarket for the butter. Didn't occur to me that I might need flour as well!

I nearly postponed my shortcake-making, thinking I would just cook up the apples and do the rest when I'd had a chance to grab some flour. That was, until I realised that I did have some self-raising flour. Leave out the baking powder, use self-raising instead, and I'm back in business!

The apples were ready by the time I'd made this decision, so I immediately got down to making the shortcake, rubbing butter into the flour, then mixing in sugar and beaten egg with a little milk. This made a stiff dough which I halved, rolling each half out to the approximate size and shape of the tin I was using.

The recipe specified a 22cm tin, something I don't have, so I made a few calculations, and set my adjustable tin in a rectangle that would roughly approximate the same surface area as a 22cm square. Well, that was the plan, at least: my maths skills are not terribly reliable, but it seemed to work this time!

I placed the first layer of pastry in the tin - I hadn't got the size and shape absolutely right, but a little surreptitious patchwork had the gaps filled in no time. The next layer to go in was the apple: a nice thick layer smoothed over the top of the pastry. Then I topped the apple with the second layer of pastry. Patchwork wasn't as easy without a solid base to work against, but I got it looking pretty tidy.

After 25 minutes in the oven, the shortcake came out looking golden and tasty. I took it out of the tin to cool (so the bottom didn't go soggy) but I waited until it was completely cold before cutting it.

I was surprised at the texture of the shortcake - used to dense, soggy bakery apple shortcake, I was quite delighted to find that mine had a light, almost crisp texture. The flavour wasn't as sweet as I'd expected; maybe I would think about adding a little more sugar to the shortcake next time. But overall: Pretty good shortcake, I reckon.


  1. Oh man apple shortcake... that's got to be an all time favourite. Can't be doing with that just now we're watching the calorie intake. You can make one again some time......c

  2. oh, sometime - when I've finished the rest of the Edmonds book! Fed some shortcake to the workmates today; received pretty good reviews


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