Buttery, Oaty Shortbread with Strawberry-Lemon Sauce and Fresh Cream

Buttery, Oaty Shortbread with Strawberry-Lemon Sauce and Fresh Cream


Photo credit: Nancy Anne Harbord

I shaped this dinner party dessert around the strawberries I bought this week, from my favourite-ever Turkish supermarket in Tooting, south London. Normally, I wouldn’t even glance at a strawberry in March, but this very sensible resolve went out of the window when I walked past these babies and their powerfully sweet, ripe fragrance wafted past my nose.


Photo credit: Nancy Anne Harbord

How was this achieved, out of season? Of course, I suspect some kind of funny business. They were perfectly ripe, fragrant, juicy and sweet. Some of the nicest strawberries I’ve eaten. In March. Any insights?


Photo credit: Nancy Anne Harbord

I give you two options in this post for serving your strawberries, both with their own merits and both absolutely delicious – a sauce or just plain, fresh strawberries. The sauce is more forgiving, so if you only have less-than-perfect strawberries available, this may be the option to go for.


Photo credit: Nancy Anne Harbord

Made with my beautiful, mysterious strawberries, a tiny sprinkle of brown sugar and a good squeeze of lemon juice, this sauce was a taste sensation. Everything I loved about the sour, sugary, jelly sweets I used to eat, but with none of the grossness and gelatine. Highly concentrated flavour, super sweet and sour at the same time, and packed with intense strawberry flavour.


Photo credit: Nancy Anne Harbord

You can leave the strawberries in pieces in the sauce or blend it to make a smooth, strikingly coloured, satiny sauce. You may wish to sieve the sauce for a refined look and mouthfeel, but this is very much optional. Then spoon or drizzle, the choice is yours.


Photo credit: Nancy Anne Harbord

The other option is just lovely, shiny, fresh, ripe, tasty strawberries – my personal choice. But this relies on having lovely, shiny, fresh, ripe, tasty strawberries.


Photo credit: Nancy Anne Harbord

For the shortbread I used my favourite, well-tested recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. Simple and quick to come together (as long as you have a blender of some kind), it is crumbly, lightly sweet and beautifully buttery.


Photo credit: Nancy Anne Harbord

Using the traditional addition of powdered oats, it has a delicate flavour that is a little overpowered by the other components of this dessert – so be sure to try a biscuit by itself so you can fully appreciate it!


Photo credit: Nancy Anne Harbord

The shortbread is not vegan and I can’t think of any good way to make it so. The buttery flavour is so important to the overall success of the biscuit. Perhaps something like coconut fat would work – does anyone have experience using this to make biscuits?

The strawberry sauce, however, is both vegan and gluten-free. And yummy!


Photo credit: Nancy Anne Harbord

Please click here to see the formatted, printable recipe on Ramsons & Bramble

 

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