A cake for all seasons. Spring time brings together rhubarb and new season strawberries (pictured), a heavenly perfumed combination of tart and sweet. Summer is yellow-fleshed peaches and blueberries. Autumn is feijoas and apples.Winter pairs the sharpness of tamarillo with the softness of apple. Each seasonal shortcake is delightful in its own way; you’d better try them all.
Based on Lois Daish’s recipe from A Treasury of New Zealand Baking, 2009
rhubarb 4-5 stalks
strawberries one punnet
sugar 1-2 tablespoons
Preheat oven to 180˚C. Wash rhubarb stalks and cut into 1cm pieces. Put onto a baking tray and sprinkle with sugar. Bake the rhubarb for 15 minutes. While the rhubarb is baking, hull the strawberries and cut in half. Once the 15 minutes is up, add the strawberries and bake for a further 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
yellow-fleshed peaches four
blueberries one punnet
Remove stone from peaches and cut flesh into wide 2cm slices. Wash blueberries. Set aside while you prepare the shortcake.
butter 2 tablespoons
cooking apples 3, such as Granny Smith or Ballarat, cut into 1cm slices
sugar 1-2 tablespoons
feijoas scooped out of their skins, about 1 cup
Melt butter in a frying pan and add the apple slices. Sprinkle with sugar and give the pan a good shake. Cook gently over a medium heat until the apple starts to soften. Add the feijoas and cook for a couple more minutes. Remove from the heat.
cooking apples 3, Granny Smith or Ballarat
Prick the skin of the tamarillos with a small knife or skewer, place into a glass bowl, and cover with boiling water. Leave for 5 minutes or so. The tamarillo skins should be easy to peel off now; if not, recover with more boiling water and leave for a further couple of minutes. Slice the tamarillo into 1cm rounds.
Melt butter in a frying pan and add the apple slices. Sprinkle with sugar and give the pan a good shake. Cook gently over a medium heat until the apple starts to soften. Add the sliced tamarillo and remove from the heat.
For the shortcake:
softened unsalted butter 125g
free range egg 1
plain flour 225g
baking powder 1 teaspoon
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add the egg and continue to beat until fully combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Line whatever tin you’d like to use (a round 22cm tin works, as does a 20 x 10cm loaf tin) with baking paper. Put two thirds of the shortcake mixture into the lined base of the tin. Spread over the fruit mixture and then put dollops of the remaining shortcake mixture over the top. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.