Sunday, 20 December 2009
One thing we always have lots of in the larder is jars of jams and preserves. I don't think I could live without a variety of them on tap for me to use in various ways . . .
Sometimes in the evenings when we are watching the telly and feel a bit peckish, we will have a treat of hot buttered toast spread with jam or marmelade.
We just adore freshly baked scones with cream and strawberry jam. Can you imagine a Cream Tea without strawberry jam??? It's totally unthinkable!!!
A moist Victorian Sponge is just not the same without a thick layer of raspberry jam in the middle, although I do enjoy lemon curd once in a while, but . . . can you still call it a Victorian Sponge without the jam?
I also love to bake biscuits that have jam in the middle.
Soft and tender molasses jam jams are so lovely and tasty with a hot drink in the middle of the afternoon. My mouth starts to water just thinking about them . . .
Oh, and don't get me started to thinking about lintzer cookies, all buttery and crisp and filled with . . . raspberry jam . . . their tops all sweetly dusted with icing sugar . . .
That white powder on the upper lip's a dead giveaway isn't it? There's no denying you've been raiding the tin . . .
One of my favourite things of all though . . . is . . . raspberry shortbread.
That crisp short textured buttery base . . . topped with sweet raspberry preserves and then . . .
that buttery crumble topping. Can anything on earth possibly taste any better??? I think NOT!
Let's just skip having tea all together today. We'll just settle for dessert
Makes 12 to 16 wedges
Picture sweet buttery melt in your mouth crunch, stogged full of delicious raspberry preserves and you have these delightful shortbread biscuits. These are a real favourite around here.
16 ounces butter, at room temperature
4 large egg yolks
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
350g raspberry jam, at room temperature
70g icing sugar, sifted
Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. You will need a 10 inch tart pan with a removable bottom or you can just use a 9 by 13 inch baking pan.
Cream the butter until soft and fluffy with a hand mixer, or in the bowl of a food processor. Beat in the egg yolks. (alternately whiz them for a few seconds in the food processor until combined) Stir together the sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter/egg yolk mixture, mixing just until incorporated and the dough comes together. (Do the same in the food processor, blitzing it several times until a dough forms) Divide the dough in half.
Press one half of the dough evenly into the bottom of the tart tin, or the baking pan, pressing it down to compact it slightly.
With a spoon or spatula, spread the jam evenly over the surface to within 1/2 inch of the edge of the dough all the way around. Take the remaining half of the dough and crumble it evenly over top of the jam, covering it completely.
Bake in the heated oven until it is lightly golden brown. This should take between 30 and 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and dust with the icing sugar. Cool on a wire rack before removing the sides of the pan. Cut into wedges with a serrated knife to serve. (If you have used a baking pan, just cut into squares.) Store in a tightly covered container. This keeps very well.