Sometimes you just need some gently savoury food in your life, for comfort’s sake. I have felt this way recently. Freshly-baked bread, cheese scones, pulses and hot drinks are the order of the day. Infused oils are an excellent way to pep up most of […]
Apples apples apples everywhere I look right now. So it’s a good thing I like them so much and an even better thing that I am still resolutely in the apple recipe section of the Edmonds Cook Book. Today I bring to you Edmond’s Apple Shortcake Squares.
What’s special about shortcake as opposed to just regular cake then? I didn’t know either but fortunately trusty Wikipedia was onto it again. Shortcake goes back to at least 1602! And we know this because the great bard himself wrote the character Alice Shortcake in the Merry Wives of Windsor. The short part of things is because the cake ingredients form a shortened crumbly dough, like a shortbread, and it’s baked to set into a cake at a reasonably high temperature.
Strawberry shortcake is the most famous example, first appearing in England where it was served hot with butter and cream. Yes, the idea of all that melty sweet goodness makes my mouth water too. But for true appreciation of strawberry shortcake we need to head to the States, where 14th June is National Strawberry Shortcake Day, the official day of celebration for this delicious treat. It stems from the tradition of celebrating the Summer fruit harvest with strawberry shortcakes. A great tradition indeed as far as I’m concerned.
Back here in Aotearoa I’m supposing apples were more plentiful than strawberries, and hence the good writers of Edmonds made sure the New Zealand home cook could still have a trusty fruit-based shortcake in their repertoire. It’s a good thing they did too, I found this very tasty and also very easy to make. If the shortcake sounds suspiciously like making pastry to you, don’t be put off. It is truly a minimal faff recipe, which is my main criteria for baking, frankly. And with our lovely apples being all seasonal and delicious right now, I promise this will prove popular if you need to bring a plate.
Edmond’s apple shortcake squares
- 3 apples, peeled and sliced
- 2 T sugar
- 2 T water
- 1 t lemon zest
- Pinch cinnnamon
For the shortcake:
- 1 & 3/4 c plain flour
- 2 t baking powder
- 125 g butter
- 3/4 c caster sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 T milk
- 1 T caster sugar
- Icing sugar for sprinkling on the top
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcsius and grease and line a 22cm baking tin so that the baking paper comes over the top of the sides of the tin (you’ll need it later to hoist out the shortcake).
Simmer the apples with the water, lemon and cinnamon in a saucepan over a low heat until cooked and set aside. While the apples are cooking, make the shortcake.
Sift the flour and baking soda. Cut in the butter and rub it around with your fingers until it looks like clumpy breadcrumbs. Add the water, milk and egg and mix quickly until it comes together into a ball.
Divide this in half. Roll out one half of the dough with a rolling pin until and into the baking tin so it lines the base and sides. Place the apples on top.
Roll the other half of the dough out on a floured board with a rolling pin, until it as long and wide as the baking tin. Place it over the apples and pinch it together with the first piece of dough, so it encases the apples. Brush the top with water and sprinkle on the caster sugar.
Bake for 25 minutes until the top is golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool, then removing the shortcake from the tin, lifting it out by the extra baking paper peeking over the sides of the tin. Dust with icing sugar and cut into squares.
One of the delightful things about days off, along with gleefully sitting around in your pants for as long as you fancy and not removing your slippers EVER, is ample amounts of time to whip up special treats for favourite people. My lovely Mum’s […]
Well hello there. Tomato glut? Yeah, me too. Much of it not my own harvest on account of abdominal surgery recovery and whatnot, so I am doubly grateful for all of the tasty goodness that has been kindly coming my way of late. All gifts of excess produce gratefully received chez nous (yes, that is a hint).
Cherokee Purples are on high rotation in my kitchen at the moment. They are gorgeous beauties – heirloom tomatoes, which means they are cultivated from seeds passed down through families, rather than seeds developed for the commercial market. One of the things I love most about Cherokee Purples are their imperfections compared to a standard tomato – all lumps and patchy colours. It makes me think about how many of the fruits and vegetables we enjoy today look so different from their ancestors.
Shuffling around the house in my pyjamas has necessitated some easy meals. This recipe is cheesy and hearty and perfect if you have tomatoes needing using. Cherokee Purples, if you are lucky enough to get your hands on some, are perfect for this as they are so big and juicy and meaty. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t – the cheesy, eggy combination means any tomato is just the icing on the cake.
Ingredients (for one, or two if you serve with toast):
1 t olive oil
1 cup chopped fresh tomato
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (such as the ubiquitous Tasty, if you are in New Zealand)
1/2 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat your oven grill.
Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. After a minute, add the tomato. Stir to release some of the tomato juices and let it cook until it softens slightly – about two minutes.
Whisk the eggs, cheese, milk and salt and pepper together in a bowl. Give it a good, hearty whisking – this will help the final product be nice and puffy.
Using the back of a wooden spoon, spread the tomato evenly throughout the pan.
Pour the egg mixture over the tomato. Let it bubble and, when you can see the egg mixture is just starting to set, put the pan under the grill.
Grill until the top is golden-brown and the egg is puffing up. Use a fish slice to scoop it out of the pan – sometimes I manage to get it out so it stays whole, and sometimes it winds up being a pile of cheese, egg and tomato on my plate! This doesn’t effect the taste, promise.
Hello! Sincere apologies for my absence. I needed to take a break from blogging. The reason? Because I had started heaping pressure on myself, setting expectations about perfect photos, on-trend and original recipes, and copious tweets and followers. This diminished my enjoyment of Lick […]
Happy 2017 everyone! I think we can all agree that the year we have just ushered out was rather bruising, whether you’re talking politically, artistically, or for many of us, personally. So, what we really need to ring in the New Year is not cucumber sticks, lycra, mineral water or resolutions. No, what is called for is a big, comforting, chocolatey cake. Or at least that is how I felt today in amongst reading, watching Netflix and snoozing on the sofa with our cats.
I’m not going to pretend I was feeling sparky enough to whip up my own recipe. And why would I need to, when I’m lucky enough to have my very own copy of Alice Arndell‘s Alice in Bakingland? This recipe, sweetly titled ‘Nanny’s chocolate cake’ is a winner, delivering a pleasingly chocolatey cake every time. Because I really felt the need to up the nourishment factor on this one, I slathered jam and cream on cut halves before sandwiching the cake back together and topping it with a generous serving of chocolate icing.
Take care everyone and I’m hoping this cake sets the tone for a much sweeter, kinder year.
Nanny’s chocolate cake by Alice Arndell
- 170g butter
- 1/4 cup golden syrup
- 2 cups plain flour
- 2/3 cups cocoa
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp intant coffee granules
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- 1/4 t salt
- 1 & 1/2 cups milk
Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees celsius. Grease and line a 23cm cake tin.
Place the butter and golden syrup in a microwave-proof bowl and heat on high until the butter is melted – this is 1 minute 10 seconds in my microwave. Stir to combine and set aside.
Place all other ingredients in a large bowl and beat for 5 minutes. The original recipe calls for a stand mixer, which I don’t have, so I find a handheld electric beater works well. You may need to beat for a little longer if you do this by hand.
Pour in the butter and syrup and mix through.
This mixture is runny so don’t worry! Pour it into the prepared tin and bake for 50-60 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean with a few crumbs.
Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Pork and porridge. It’s not too often you get these two together, but they are both delicious with a little applesauce, no? Admittedly, my first thought on arriving at Apple Sauce in the Edmonds Cookbook (apart from no, not more apples) was ho-hum. Apple sauce […]