Like many people, I am often found reading cookery books for fun. Although I read my fair share of novels, I equally enjoy reading a recipe book from cover to cover and my favourite is The Glasgow Cookery Book. It is the manual of the Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science ('Dough School', now incorporated into Glasgow Caledonian University) It is the book that my Mum would always reffer to when I was growing up, but as her copy was given to her as a prize, my chances of "borrowing" it were slim. Then, in 2009 they released a new edition, the best Christmas present I have ever received!
Strawberries say summer to me like no other fruit, or vegetable. It really pays to wait until your local strawberries are in season, the rewards are in the sweet, juicy berry you will find, instead of those solid, watery offerings you get when you buy air freight fruit. With Wimbledon now a fading memory (maybe next year, Andy) I am seeing strawberries in abundance in markets and supermarkets, often on special offer too. Before my Coeliac diagnosis, strawberry tartlets were one of my favourite indulgences and they are easy to convert to a gluten free recipe after all, without gluten, pastry loses the risk-of-overworking factor. I made these for some of my husband's work friends, and the compliments came flooding in.
This recipe has been adapted from The Glasgow Cookery Book.
200g flour (I used Doves Farm Plain White Flour)
125g butter or block margarine
40g castor sugar
beaten egg (I used a whole 1, but you might need more or less)
Cream fat and sugar, then work in flour and salt. Add enough egg to form a stiff paste.
Rest in the fridge before rolling out.
200g biscuit pastry
200g fresh strawberries, hulled and halved if large.
125ml double cream
2tbsp icing sugar
125ml fruit juice (to make this, sprinkle 1tbsp sugar over the strawberries and let them stand until juice come out the berries, top up with water to 125ml)
Roll out pastry to 3mm thick, line patty tins with pastry and fork bases. Bake for 15-20mins in the middle of the oven (190oC) until pale brown. Cool.
Thicken the fruit juice with arrowroot and cook for 1-2 mins, allow to cool.
Whip cream together with icing sugar and pipe a little into each pastry case. Fill up cases with strawberries and glaze with the thickened juice.