Strawberry Shortbread Crowns are an idea I found on Marks & Spencer website. In that recipe, though, the shortbread was shop bought. I wanted to make my own shortbread, since I could then make each biscuit thinner. So the idea is to sandwich two shortbread biscuits with some custard. Then top that sandwich with whipped cream and strawberries.
Such a simple idea. Simple yes, but also delicious. For the shortbread I wanted to use my hazelnut shortbread recipe. The texture of that shortbread is so tender.
For the custard I decided to make my own. However using custard powder would work quite well. I didn’t want the custard to be too thick, but just thick enough that it would firm up nicely in the fridge one the crowns had been assembled. But how thick the custard should be is actually a matter of preference. If you prefer to pipe the custard it would need to be thicker than mine.
To top the shortbread I used whipped cream. Then some strawberry slices too.
The Marks & Spencer version used whipped cream in the sandwich and on the top. But I thought custard would work better.
The recipe does take some time, since the dough must be chilled for at least an hour.
My Strawberry Shortbread Crowns
I found the recipe easy to make, even though it took time. The actual work involved wasn’t onerous.
I broke the process down into 3 distinct stages. Making the shortbread, making the custard and assembling the crowns.
As mentioned, earlier, I used some ground hazelnuts in my shortbread which gave a rich flavour and helped with a very tender texture.
I rolled out the dough and chilled it for an hour. Then I cut out discs and placed them on a baking tray. I chilled the discs too, as I preheated the oven. Then I baked the shortbread. To ensure equal sizes I used a cookie cutter to trim the edges of the shortbread while they were still warm.
The custard was easy to make and I then left that to cool down. I did press plastic wrap onto the custard to prevent a film from forming.
The cream was whipped with a little sugar. I used about 7 large strawberries and cut them down a little before slicing them into triangles. I needed 25 triangles of roughly equal size to create the crowns.
With everything prepared I assembled the strawberry shortbread crowns. I tasted one immediately, though it would have been better to chill them first to allow the custard to firm up a little. But, nevertheless, it tasted so good. The wonderfully tender shortbread and the cream custard as well as the strawberries and cream on the top all worked so well together.
These would be a great dessert whilst enjoying the coronation.
Another lovely recipe, which is quite simple to make is: Fruity Oat Cookies.
Strawberry Shortbread CrownsCourse: Biscuits, Cookies, DessertsDifficulty: Medium
75g(1/2 cup, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) plain flour
57g(1/2 cup) roasted hazelnuts(if you have ground hazelnuts that is even better, you can skip the grinding part of the recipe)
40g(1/4 cup) rice flour (or cornflour, or potato starch)
75g(1/3 cup) softened unsalted butter
34g(1/4 cup minus 1 tsp) icing sugar
pinch of salt
125ml(1/2 cup+1 tsp) whole milk
75g(1/3 cup minus 1 tsp) double cream
12.5 (1 tbsp) caster sugar
9g(1 tbsp) cornflour(use more if you want a thicker custard)
1 medium egg yolk(large in USA)
5ml(1 tsp) vanilla extract
225g(1/2 cup minus 1 tbsp) double cream
12.5(1 tbsp) caster sugar
25 triangles of strawberries of about equal size
- Place the hazelnuts into a grinder or processor with 2 teaspoons of the icing sugar and process into a fairly fine texture.
- Cream the butter with the remaining icing sugar.
- Add the rice flour and the hazelnuts and mix to combine.
- Then add the flour and mix again until just combined into a dough.
- Tip the dough onto a sheet of parchment paper and squeeze into a ball then flatten a little.
- Cover the dough with more parchment paper and roll it out to a thickness of about 1/4 inch(5 – 6 mm).
- Chill the dough in the fridge for one hour.
- Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and cut out discs of dough with a 3 in(8cm) cookie cutter, rolling the dough again to use it all and to get 10 discs(you should get 11, so a spare to eat).
- Place the discs on a parchment line baking tray and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350 F.
- Place the cream and milk into a saucepan and heat to just about boiling.
- Whisk the egg yolk, sugar and cornflour into a paste, using a teaspoon of milk if required.
- Pour a little of the hot milk onto the paste, whisking all the time, to temper it. Add a little more and whisk again.
- Add the remaing milk and whisk to combine.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and place it back on the heat, whisking all the time, until it begins to thicken and comes a boil.
- When the custard has thickened well remove it from the heat and place it in a bowl to cool. Press plastic wrap onto the surface of the custard to prevent if from forming a film.
- Bake the shortbread in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until fully baked and beginning to colour.
- Remove the shortbread from the oven and leave on the baking tray for 2 minutes.
- Use the cookie cutter to cut 3inch(8cm) discs, which will trim the shortbread to a uniform size.
- Transfer the trimmed shortbread to a rack to cool completely.
- Whisk the cream with the sugar until it reaches stiff peaks.
- Place the cream into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.
- Pipe cream onto the top of 5 biscuits.
- Add 5 triangle of strawberry into the cream to form the crown shape.
- Pipe more cream between the triangle if you wish.
- Briefly whisk the cooled custard loosen it slightly and place it in a piping bag.
- Pipe a layer of custard onto the remaining 5 biscuits.
- Place the strawberry topped biscuits onto the custard covered biscuits and chill until the custard has firmed up.