Sun-ripened, sun-sweetened strawberries are finally available at the Otago Farmers Market. With strawberries this good, I recommend keeping it simple and natural. Strawberries and cream is truly one of life’s joys!!
Strawberries, Shortbread and Homemade Crème Fraiche
1-2 punnets fresh strawberries
Homemade crème fraiche - allow 2 days!
1 cup cream
1 Tablespoon buttermilk
230g butter, softened
2 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon lemon zest
¼ cup icing sugar
Homemade Crème Fraiche - Add the cream and buttermilk to a pot and heat gently. Remove immediately from the heat and stir, pour into a clean glass jar with a lid (300ml). Let sit at room temperature for about 12 hours. Then put into the fridge for another 12 or until cold and the cream has thickened. It will last up to 7 days in the refrigerator.
For the shortbread: Cream butter in bowl of electric mixer, with the paddle until soft and fluffy. Add egg yolks, and mix well. Add the sugar, flour, baking powder to the butter mixture and mix until just incorporated and the dough starts to come together.
Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and form into a ball. Wrap the ball in plastic wrap and freeze for at least 2 hours, overnight if possible.
Heat oven to 180`C
Remove the dough from freezer, coarsely grate it by hand or I highly recommend using a food processor with the grating disc (so much faster). Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and either draw circles on the paper about the size of a tea cup or use round metal cooking hoops. You need to place enough mixture to loosely cover the surface. Do not be tempted to pat the mixture down, and don’t put to much on either as it does rise a little.
Cook for about 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. As soon as you remove them from the oven, dust them generously with icing sugar. Cool.
To assemble: Top and tail some strawberries, arrange 1 or 2 shortbreads on the plate, add a generous amount of strawberries and a large dollop of your homemade crème fraiche (you may find yourself needing more).
This is simplicity at its best….