Jam Shortbread is not strictly speaking a cake. It is, however, a marvellous way to brighten up a weekend, and a huge favourite in this household. Not the most elegant of bakes, but what it lacks in finesse, it makes up for in flavour. Essentially it is a sandwich of shortbread with strawberry jam in the centre. Extremely delicious and dangerously addictive, perfect for picnics or afternoon pick me ups. Up to this point, we have always used homemade strawberry jam for the filling, but much to our horror, we have run out (probably because R will happily eat his own body weight in strawberry jam given half the chance!). Thank goodness that strawberries will be back in season next month. The moment that they ripen, we shall be heading to the local pick-your-own farm, baskets in hand…
Jam Shortbread (adapted from Tessa Kiros’ recipe in the utterly wonderful book Apples for Jam)
150g butter, softened
150g caster sugar
300g plain flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
milk to bind (approx 2 tbsps)
a few drops vanilla extract
about 200g jam (we use strawberry)
Preheat the oven to 170c/325f/gas 3
Line a baking tray approx 30 x 40 cm with baking parchment.
Combine the butter and sugar using a mixer, or by hand. Add the flour and baking powder and work them in. Add the egg, vanilla and enough milk to bind into a compact, smooth dough.
Wrap, and rest in the fridge for at least half an hour until firm enough to roll out.
Divide the dough in half. Roll out the first half so that it will fit in your baking tray. Lift carefully, using a rolling pin if necessary and place in the tray. Spread the jam evenly over the top. Roll out the second half of the dough and fit as exactly as possible over the first half. It doesn’t have to be perfect- you can patch a few gaps if necessary.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden in places. Cool for 5 minutes in the tray, then remove using the baking paper. Cut into shapes using biscuit cutters or, if you prefer, into squares or rectangles.
PS: The winner of the Girls Night In giveaway has been announced. Check back at the original post for details.