I guess that’s a close enough description for what this is. It’s a recipe I’ve had for ages, no idea where I got it from, and with which I’d usually use apples. This time, however, I’ve used strawberries cause I’m just a bit wild, unpredictable and crazy that way. That and I’d spent £5 on a tray of nice strawberries from ridiculously expensive Whole Foods in Kensington the other day and needed to use them up. We’ve had our fill of healthy smoothies, so this seemed a fair exchange, except for the strawberries obv who baked slowly to death.
I’m still full of cough and bad temper, you’ll be pleased to hear. It’s assuaged somewhat by the fact that today is behaving, season-wise, and we are practically roasting in a balmy 17C with nary a rain drop to be seen. Its not full-on sunny of course, but we’ve all learnt not to expect too much.
This break in the crappy weather has meant, however, that we’ve been forced to deal with a few really shitty chores we’ve legitimately been able to put off due to the wet weather. See:
The boyfriend will be STOKED to know there’s a picture of him on the internet, in dodgy PJs and slippers. And a pink shirt.
Anyway we’ve had to clear out what passes for our backyard but is really the size of a large dog kennel and is just foul with mouldy, slippery decking, leaf litter, dehydrated dog shit (well, possibly not as dehydrated as we’d like) and general gardening leftovers from the summer before last when it was actually warm enough to grow stuff. The while thing is being ripped up and replaced with an Eco-deck that isn’t full of horrid pesticides, isn’t made of wood and doesn’t get mouldy and slippery. Costing a fortune, of course.
We’ve emptied it it best we can before GardenMan comes in a week. I dread to think what’s under the existing decking. At a bare minimum I expect we will discover some kind of rotting corpse, piles of shit so large they’ll have set up their own governing bodies with overly complex Terms of Reference, and about 2 dozen mice nests. As there is no side access (Victorian mid-terrace housing, ahoy) GardenMan will have to lug all the reject stuff through the house. I can’t wait to see how my house survives that.
Anyway, strawberry shortcakes stuff (not the 80s doll, I’m so sorry….). Preheat your oven to 170C.
100g butter, melted
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1.5 cups plain flour
0.5 cup sugar
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Fruit of your choice (if you’re using stewed, which if course you may, then make sure it’s drained well)
Squeeze of lemon juice
Tip the melted butter into a bowl and beat in the sugar, then the egg. Then add the baking powder and cinnamon (or allspice, or nothing. I don’t care, is up to you), then the flour in two bits. It’ll come together into a sticky play-doh type dough.
In a ceramic or Pyrex pie dish, or indeed a metal one (greased, please), press in half the dough. You absolutely don’t need to be neat about it. It’s not about pretty, this. It’s about using up leftover fruit.
Anyway, press in half the dough, however works for you. I kind of break off chunks of dough, flatten between my palms and push together in the tin.
Layer on your fruit, sprinkling with some more sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice. You’ll note I’ve tried to be tidy for the benefit of this blog but again, you just don’t need to bother.
Then add the rest of the dough. You can kind of crumble this over if that’s the topping you fancy, or roll it out, or do the double-palm press thing again.
Stick it in the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until it’s obviously risen and gone a nice colour.
Whilst you’re waiting, you can admire the below photo of the dog.
When done, take the pie-thingy-whatever-it-is-shortcake out of the oven, sprinkle some more sugar (or icing sugar if you’re feeling fancy, when it’s a bit cooler), let it cool a little then remove from the tin. It’s nice warm but I think I like it best cool, in a wedge. Breakfast, maybe?
See below for finished product. I’d normally wait till it’s cool enough to turn out and slice for you. I’ve not, I’m sorry, as I need to go take a nap. It’s for the greater good.