Food: Peach & Custard Shortcake
So. This is exactly the kind of thing I love to bake; it’s simple, delicious and sweet.
Traditionally you might fill such a cake with jam and cream but the sweet peaches that are in season right now make a fresh alternative (and really, who can argue with the combination of peaches and cream?).
Opinions on what constitutes a true ‘shortcake’ vary quite dramatically, but to me, it’s a crumbly and buttery, almost scone-like cake that pairs beautifully with fresh or preserved fruit and a layer of whipped cream. I add custard powder to mine and generally make it up in one large cake tin but they are also gorgeous made in muffin tins as baby cakes.
Simple peach and custard shortcake
2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
3 tbsp custard powder
125g butter, softened
pinch of salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pre-heat oven to 180C and grease and line a 20cm cake tin. Combine the flour, sugar, custard powder and salt in a bowl and whisk to combine, then either using an electric mixer or your very own hand, add the butter and beat to combine. The mixture should resemble coarse breadcrumbs. Whisk the egg, buttermilk and vanilla together and add this to the flour mixture. Stir to until just combined (don’t overmix) and gently spoon mixture into prepared cake tin, smoothing the top. Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes in the cake tin before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
Assembling the cake;
1 cup cream, whipped and sweetened with a tbsp of honey (optional)
2 peaches, thinly sliced
To assemble the cake, start by cutting it in half with a serrated bread knife. Spread the bottom half with cream and top with a fan of thin peach slices. Place the other cake half on top and dust with icing sugar.