Belfast Telegraph

Home Life Recipes

Bill Granger’s shortcake

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What you'll need

2 large, tart cooking apples

4 eating apples

1 lemon, finely grated zest only

2 tbsp caster sugar

150g fresh or frozen blackberries

For the shortcake

185g unsalted butter

185g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

1 egg, plus 1 egg yolk

275g plain flour

1½ tsp baking powder

For the brandy custard

4 egg yolks

3 tsp cornflour

2 tbsp caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

250 ml milk

185 ml cream

About 3 tbsp brandy

Peel the apples, remove the cores and cut each apple into about 16 slices. Put the apples, lemon zest, sugar and two tablespoons of water in a medium saucepan. Cover and stew over a low heat for about 10 minutes, until the apples are soft but not mushy. Allow to cool.

To make the pastry, cream the butter and caster sugar together in a mixing bowl until fluffy and smooth. Add the egg and mix well. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture and stir until combined. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and divide the dough into two equal portions. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4/350°F. Roll each piece of cake dough into a round approximately 22cm across. Press one round into a 24cm non-stick springform cake tin. Spread the apples over the dough, leaving a small border around the edge, then put the blackberries on top. Place the other round of dough on top and press the edges together. Brush with water and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cornflour, sugar and vanilla, then whisk in the milk and cream until smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan and stir over a low heat for 10 minutes, or until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Add the brandy to taste, stirring well. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and keep warm. Take the tart out of the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing and serving with the brandy custard.

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