Hurrah...it's officially the start of summer...British Strawberries have arrived...we might just have to ignore the weather though!! What could be better on a warm summer's evening than sitting in the garden with a glass of wine and one of these Strawberry Shortbread Meringue pies.
The recipe for these desserts specified to use shop bought shortbread which I would be more than happy to do but for this blog post I thought I'd add a bit more of a baking element and make the shortbread! The recipe I used is below but I perhaps found it a little crumbly...so you can either try the same recipe or how about this one from Delicious magazine...they also add a hint of Orange.
To make the base for these pies, it's a bit like a cheesecake, crumb up the shortbread and then add melted butter before pressing it into the tin. My only complaint about this recipe was that it was nigh on impossible to get the dessert off the base so in the end I had to resort to leaving on. To get round this problem, the recipe suggested making the baking paper for the base larger than needed. My other thought was to just use a food ring and leave the base as a whole circle of shortbread, baked in the shape for the purpose.
So the finished product is a dreamy desssert of shortbread, cream, strawberries and clouds of gorgeous Italian meringue...who could resist...certainly not me...I'm going to make this again next weekend!! :-)Lavender and Lovage and Kate at What Kate Baked.
Next up is the One Ingredient Challenge hosted by Working London Mummy and Laura at How to Cook Good Food. The theme for their challenge this month is Strawberries.
Finally, we have Simple and in Season where you can pick any seasonal product you like...hence the lovely British Strawberries! The challenge is from Fabulicious Food and this month it is also hosted by How to Cook Good Food...a busy month for Laura!
65g unsalted butter, melted
200g shortbread fingers
1 tsp vanilla extract
185g caster sugar plus extra for dusting
200ml double cream
Handful of fresh mint
Pinch of cream of tartar
So to put it altogether...start by melting the 65g of butter and breaking your shortbread up into crumbs. Combine the two and then press into the base of four greased and based lined 10cm tins (springform). It is suggested you make your base paper circle larger than the actual base to help you remove the dessert from the tin when it's finished. Chill this in the fridge.
Next up whip the double cream with 1 tbsp of sugar and quarter 200g of the strawberries. Mix the quartered strawberries with the vanilla extract and 1 tsp of sugar. Then add the whole lot together with a little mint and crush the strawberries slightly with a fork.
You should have 300g of strawberries left which can be halved. To make the Italian meringue place 185g of sugar in a heavy based saucepan with 60ml of water. Gently dissolve the sugar and then bring to the boil (do not stir). In the meantime shisk up the two egg whites until they are at the soft peak stage. Using your sugar thermometre heat the sugar and water to 115 degrees. When it gets to this heat begin whisking the egg whites again and slowly pour a steady trickle of the sugar syrup into the egg whites. Try to avoid the beaters as you pour, otherwise it tends to splatter everywhere.
Finally, to assemble place the cut strawberries on the shortbread around the edge of the tin. The recipe calls for alternating cut side and non-cut side out...however, I think it looks better with all the cut sides out! Place a blob of the strawberry cream in the middle and then using a medium size round nozzle and piping bag, pipe the Italian meringue into peaks on top. Fo finsh off, brown the meringues under a grill until they go golden or use a blow torch if you have one. The whole thing can then go back in the fridge to chill before serving.
50g castor sugar
Preheat the oven to 180c/160c fan. To make this it is suggested that you use a food processor but you can make it without too. Add the flour and butter into the food processor and mix, then add the sugar and combine, it should be crumbly at this stage. Ensure you have a 22cm greased fluted tart tin to hand and press the mixture into the tin with a spoon. Bake for 30-35 minutes, when it's golden it's done! Cut into wedges whilst still warm and then dust with a light covering of castor sugar.
* Recipe adapted from Delicious Magazine and is by Allegra McEvedy