Who doesn’t love strawberries and cream in summertime? Of course they taste great served on their own, but team them with light, flaky, buttery shortbread biscuits and they make a gorgeous little summer dessert. Use mascarpone cream in this recipe, which tastes amazing with the shortbread. Sophie Morris shares this recipe from her new ebook, Sophie Kooks Month by Month: June.
"June screams strawberries and cream – synonymous with Wimbledon, of course. During the school holidays, I played tennis every day with my mum; and we still joke about how many years it took her to part with that old-fashioned, wooden racket of hers! These days I’m still glued to the tennis at the end of June. It’s my ritual to perch myself on the sofa and watch match after match, while indulging in a summery strawberry dessert."
For the shortbread
100 g butter, at room temperature
100 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
55 g icing sugar
1 egg yolk
For the filling
200 g strawberries, hulled and sliced horizontally (if your slices are straight, stacking will be easier)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
200 g mascarpone
1 tablespoon double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
2 Place the butter, flour, icing sugar and egg yolk in a food processor and blitz until it just comes together to form a dough. Roll the dough to 5 mm thickness on a lightly floured board and cut into rounds with a 6 cm cutter. (If you don’t have a cutter, use a knife to cut 6 cm squares.) Re-roll the excess dough and repeat until the dough is used up. Place the dough shapes on the lined baking trays, leaving space between them. Bake for 8–10 minutes, until pale golden. Remove the trays from the oven and allow the biscuits to cool on the tray.
3 Place the strawberries and lemon zest in a small bowl. Stir carefully and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the mascarpone, cream, vanilla extract and icing sugar until combined.
4 Once the shortbread biscuits have cooled, you can assemble the stacks. Place half the biscuits on a board. (Leave aside the other half for now – they’ll be used to top the stacks.) Place a layer of strawberry slices on each shortbread base. Now spoon a layer of mascarpone mixture on top of each strawberry layer, dividing evenly until all the mascarpone mixture is used. Add a second layer of strawberry slices. Finally, top each stack with a shortbread biscuit and dust with icing sugar. Garnish with any leftover strawberries and serve.
Recipe taken from Sophie Morris: Quick and Easy Feelgood Food. Also available as a monthly ebook: Sophie Kooks Month by Month: June is now available on Amazon!