News on April 25 - Apple Shortcake

It's funny what attracts peoples’ attention. I made the briefest of mentions in my recent newsletter that our tree was full of apples and I was baking Apple Shortcake.  Pandemonium – lots of you wanted the recipe, so if you’d like to make it, here it is:

Apple Shortcake - Kris Pearson

Years ago, at an advertising agency where I worked, our Scottish accounts lady turned on a spectacular farewell morning tea. Her Apple Shortcake was so nice that I asked for the recipe - and this is what she gave me, scrawled out quickly in pencil. It has been tucked into my favourite recipes folder for maybe forty years.

However, I do realise it’s a little short on detail, so I’ve written you out a better version below. For guidance, the flan dish in the photo is 20cm or 8 inches wide. I’ve also made double in a much bigger one.

OK, you’ll need stewed apples or canned apple pie filling, well drained. Add sugar to taste, and a good sprinkle of powdered cloves.

Into a bowl put 8 ounces of plain flour and a teaspoon of baking powder, or if you cook with self-rising flour, then no baking powder required. Rub in 4 ounces of butter. Doesn’t matter if you do it by hand or with a mixer. Add 3 ounces of sugar, then bind together with one egg. You might need the odd sprinkle of water until it holds together. Roll out just over half to line your greased or oiled dish. China dishes work better than metal ones – I suppose they transfer the heat more efficiently.

Tip in the drained apples right up to the top – and I think it helps to stop the base going soggy if they’re already hot. Cover with the rest of the rolled-out shortcake and seal the edge. Make a few slits in the top so steam can escape, and cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit or around 200 Celcius. After twenty minutes, poke the centre with something sharp. Still gooey? Cook it longer. You’ll know when it’s done if it’s lightly gold and crisp to the middle. We’re eating this one with raspberries and custard, but ice-cream is nice, too.  Or you can sneak a cold slice to eat with tea or coffee. Happy baking!