Orange-blossom Strawberries with Lime Shortbread

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Orange-blossom Strawberries with Lime Shortbread

Orange-blossom Strawberries with Lime Shortbread

When I was younger, we used to grow strawberries, and our favorite dessert was freshly picked ripe strawberries folded into whipping cream, just a touch, sprinkled with sugar and chilled for an hour or so. We would then crush them with a fork before eating them. When I go home in the summer, I still love to eat them like this. Another family favorite is this stylish strawberry dessert, which I often call Strawberry Soup, although it isn’t really a soup. I just call it that because the strawberries are served with lots of wonderful fresh fruit juice, scented with orange blossom. You could use the orange zest to make candied orange and sprinkle it over the top of the soup before serving.
Ingredients

– SERVES 4.
– PREPARATION TIME 25 minutes, plus 20 minutes macerating.
– COOKING TIME 20 minutes.
– 3⅓ cups strawberries, hulled and quartered.
– 4 teaspoons sherry vinegar.
– ½ cup superfine sugar.
– juice of 2 oranges.
– 4 teaspoons orange blossom extract.
– FOR THE LIME SHORTBREAD.
– finely grated zest of 1 lime.
– 1½ sticks unsalted butter, soft.
– ⅓ cup superfine sugar, plus extra for sprinkling.
– 1½ cups plus 1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour.

Instructions

Step 1: Heat the oven to 315°F. To make the lime shortbread, beat together the lime zest, butter and sugar in a large bowl, using an electric mixer, until light and fluffy, then fold in the flour to make a soft dough. Roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment paper until it is about ½ inch thick. Transfer it to a baking sheet and lift off the top sheet of paper. Mark a pattern on the top with a fork, if you like. Bake 12 to 18 minutes until just light golden and slightly firm to the touch.
Step 2: Cut the shortbread straightaway into whatever shape you like and sprinkle with sugar. You must cut the shortbread as soon as it comes out of the oven, while still soft and pliable. Put the baking sheet on a wire rack and leave the shortbread to cool and become crisp.
Step 3: While the shortbread is baking, put the strawberries into a bowl and add the sherry vinegar. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the sugar, then sprinkle the remainder over the strawberries. Toss them together, cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator to macerate 15 to 20 minutes only.
Step 4: Pour the orange juice into a bowl and add the orange blossom extract. Take the strawberries out of the refrigerator and turn them in the macerating liquid. Using a slotted spoon, divide the strawberries into four large coupé glasses, leaving the residual juice in the bowl. Add the orange juice to the strawberry juice and mix well, then spoon over the strawberries and serve with the lime shortbread.

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