Strawberry and cream shortcakes

Neil Perry
Simply stunning: Strawberry and cream shortcakes.
Simply stunning: Strawberry and cream shortcakes. Photo: William Meppem

The beautiful thing about berries is you don't have to do much to them. These shortcakes are a great alternative to scones and jam and allow the fresh strawberries to shine. Alternatively, try making them in the height of summer using pitted cherries or raspberries.


2 cups plain flour

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp baking powder

2 tbsp castor sugar

110g cold unsalted butter, diced

1 tsp finely grated orange zest

4 cups thickened cream (35 per cent fat)

3 punnets strawberries

1/3 cup pure icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla bean paste


PREHEAT OVEN to 200°C. Place oven rack in the middle of oven.

SIFT TOGETHER flour, salt, baking powder and castor sugar into a mixing bowl. Place in a food processor with the butter and orange zest. Process until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, then empty this back into the bowl.

MIX IN about 3/4 cup cream, just until most of the dry ingredients have been moistened. Turn out onto a floured board and knead gently until the dough just comes together. Don't overwork it.

ROLL DOUGH out to 1.5 centimetres thick. Using a 7-centimetre diameter cutter, cut out shortcake rounds. Lightly knead together remaining dough, re-roll and cut out until all used. Place on a tray lined with baking paper. Brush tops lightly with some cream. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the tops are light brown and the dough is set.

WASH, DRY AND HULL the strawberries. Using a mortar and pestle, lightly crush about a quarter of the strawberries. Place these in a bowl. Slice the remaining berries and add to the bowl with 2 tbsp icing sugar. Mix through and chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

PLACE REMAINING CREAM in a bowl with the vanilla paste. Sift in 2 tbsp icing sugar and whisk until soft peaks form.

SPLIT THE SHORTCAKES in half. Place some cream and strawberries on each base, then finish with the shortcake tops.

William Meppem; Jennifer Soo   Styling Hannah Meppem   Food preparation Nick Banbury