Lactose free Strawberry Shortcake
Strawberry shortcake is as classic an addition to high teas on long summer afternoons as cucumber sandwiches served up at cricket matches on the village green. As quintessentially English desserts go, it's difficult to resist the sweet, buttery biscuit bedecked with voluptuous strawberries swathed in rich double cream.
But what about those of us who need to follow a lactose and dairy free diet? What happens to the irresistable doyen of the garden party dessert table then? Stay with us! We have a totally lactose and dairy free strawberry shortcake for you to try. With a few alternative ingredients, we think our adapted recipe is equally delicious as the more traditional examples on offer.
Lactose free strawberry shortcake
250g plain flour
75g caster sugar
175g Pure™ sunflower spread
1 punnet of organic strawberries
1 tub of soy ice-cream (we like Swedish Glacé)
Fresh basil to decorate (optional)
1. Pre-heat the oven to 140ºC fan (160ºC standard).
2. Cut sheets of non-stick baking parchment to fit the size of your oven racks and set aside.
3. Mix the flour and sugar together in a large bowl and rub in the sunflower spread.
4. As the ingredients come together, knead carefully to form a paste.
5. Wrap the paste in clingfilm and leave to chill for around an hour.
6. Once chilled, shape and flatten the paste to a little over one centimetre thick (1/2")
7. Using two sizes of fluted biscuit cutters, cut an equal number of shortbread bases and tops.
8. Transfer the rounds to the prepared racks and prick with a fork.
9. Bake for 30 minutes until pale gold in colour.
10. Sprinkle the shortbread with caster sugar and allow to cool a little before transferring to a cooling rack.
Hull, wash and slice the strawberries, discarding any blemished or bruised fruit. Sprinkle with a little sugar to taste and set aside in the fridge.
Assembling individual strawberry shortcakes
Place larger shortbread rounds on small plates and cover with a serving of prepared strawberries. Add a scoop of soy ice-cream and top with a smaller round of shortbread, pressing down gently. Using a small sieve (a dry tea strainer is ideal) lightly sprinkle the dessert with icing sugar. Finish with a sprig of fresh basil, and serve immediately.
This recipe has been adapted from my grandmother's old and well thumbed family recipe book. Sadly, the title cover of which has long since been lost.
*Read the ingredients listed on the packaging of your chosen sunflower spread as some brands contain butter milk. We use Pure; a brand of sunflower spread devoid of preservatives, and any animal products or their derivatives. Our biscuits are lactose free and dairy free.