I have to say, making a shortcake was an experience. It's not something that I would usually think of making - to be quite honest I wasn't even sure what a shortcake was. I knew what shortbread was, of course,* but shortcake seemed to be something different. My only context was those strawberry shortcake Muller corner yoghurts. So what possessed me to decide to make a shortcake? Well God only knows.
I must have remembered seeing this recipe from somewhere and one day I decided to get off my arse and make it. Thing is, I absolutely love lemon curd and I will always go out of my way to make something that involves it as an ingredient, even if I do have to stop myself from sitting there with a spoon and eating it out of the jar. This time I went a step further and made the lemon curd from scratch - it was a little easier than I'd thought, which is always a good thing. One major plus point is that you end up making more lemon curd than you need so you can keep it in jars if you promise not to polish it off with a spoon...
The thing to remember with this recipe is that it doesn't look the prettiest. A friend at work likened it to looking like a beige cow pat, which really isn't something you want to be putting near your mouth. The one thing I take away from it though is that it really didn't taste like what I assume a cow pat to taste like.
*In case you were wondering - you probably weren't - shortcake can be made using vegetable fat instead of butter and usually has a leavening agent which gives it a different texture.
- 4 unwaxed lemons, zest and juice
- 200g caster sugar
- 100g butter, cut into cubes
- 3 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
- 250 g self-raising flour
- 75 g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 egg, beaten
- 4 tbsp semi-skimmed milk
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp icing sugar
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- Put the lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar and the butter into a heatproof bowl.
- Sit the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl.
- Stir the mixture until all of the butter has melted.
- Whisk the eggs and egg yolk and stir them into the lemon mixture.
- Whisk until all of the ingredients are well combined.
- Leave to cook for 10 minutes, stirring every now and again, until the mixture is creamy and thick.
- Remove the lemon curd from the heat and set aside to cool, stirring occasionally as it cools.
- Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
- Preheat the oven to 220ºC.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into a food processor.
- Whizz until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs - it takes no time at all.
- Put the mix into a separate bowl.
- Stir in the caster sugar and make a well in the middle.
- Mix together the egg, milk and vanilla extract.
- Pour into the dry ingredients.
- Stir the dry ingredients into the liquid, then bring the mixture together with your hands to form a dough.
- Turn the dough into a smooth ball and turn out onto a floured surface.
- Roll out the dough into a rough circle.
- Transfer it to a greased baking sheet and bake for 10–15 minutes or until well risen, firm and browned on top.
- Slide the shortcake onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
- Using a large serrated knife, slice the shortcake horizontally in half.
- Spread the lemon curd onto the bottom half of the shortcake.
- Spread the whipped cream on top of the lemon curd.
- Put the top half of the shortcake back on and cut into slices.
- Sift icing sugar on top to finish.
Let me know if you make it, or if you've ever made anything similar! Also, if you've ever got any recipes for anything involving lemon curd, link me up!