Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Raspberry, Walnut and Brown Sugar Shortcake

Despite the somewhat inclement weather, I have still managed to get out to the raspberry patch to pick us a bowlful. This is such a great time of year to be up at the farm. All the summer fruits are at their best, with raspberries, gooseberry, strawberries, black and red currents all hanging from the bushes. As children we did the rounds of eating the full selection available. But of all the fruits, raspberries still remains my favourite. 

Here is today's raspberry recipe offering. The recipe itself doesn't use a great deal of raspberries, so is perfect if you don't have your own ready (ie free) supply. This recipe will work equally well with any soft fruit. Just substitute what you have handy to create your own variation.

Raspberry, Walnut and Brown Sugar Shortcake 

120g butter
120g brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup walnuts
3 teaspoons sugar 
1 1/2 to 2 cups raspberries - you could easily use frozen if fresh is not available

First make the pastry: Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and beat again until well combined. 
Sift the flour and baking powder together and chop the walnuts. 

Fold the flour and baking powder into the butter mixture, followed by the walnuts. 

Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and chill for about half an hour.

To make the shortcake:

Preheat the oven to 180deg. C

Divide the pastry into two halves. Roll out the first half between either plastic wrap or baking paper. Transfer the pastry to a lined baking tray; do this by either removing the top layer of plastic wrap and flipping it onto the lined tray, or by simply using the baking paper it was rolled out on.

Evenly scatter the raspberries onto the rolled out pastry. 

Sprinkle the fruit with the white sugar. 

Now roll out the second piece of pastry. 

Be sure to flour the wrap first as you want the pastry to be easily removed. 

Cut the pastry into fat strips. 

Place these one at a time onto the shortcake in a lattice pattern. 

Don't worry if the top is a little bumpy. It is a rustic style bake.

Finish off by folding the very edges of the pie inward to form a little lip. 

Bake for approximately 20 minutes until the shortcake is golden brown and the base is cooked. 

Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with whipped cream. 

This shortcake was very well received by the family. It is a cheerful summer dessert that's not too sweet for even the non pudding eater. If you don't have walnuts, then hazel, brazil or even unsalted peanuts could be substituted. The recipe will work just as well without the nuts. Just add a teaspoon of cinnamon instead to add a little variation to the mix.

Hope you're all having a great holiday!  

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