Strawberry ice cream sundaes with rosemary shortbread

Strawberry ice cream sundae with rosemary shortbread4

I didn’t realise strawberries with rosemary was a particularly classic combination but on consulting the oracle that is Google I see cooks all over the world are pairing them. This is the first time I’ve tried them together and I think they make a brilliant partnership, especially in this spectacularly simple ice cream sundae.

And with rosemary biscotti being a bit of a winner on last week’s Great British Bake Off, I think rosemary biscuits could turn out to be rather trendy. Not that I keep up with cooking trends in the slightest. I’m always a tad late to the party on that score. I only tried matcha for the first time a couple of months ago, while coconut oil made its first appearance in my cooking just the other day.

But back to those sundaes…

I made the rosemary shortbread to accompany the Rich Clotted Cream ice cream we brought home with us from our recent visit to the marvellous Marshfield Farm. My kids demanded sundaes and as I’m the biggest sucker around for ice cream piled high in a tall glass, who was I to refuse? Strawberries were the obvious choice to go with clotted cream and shortbread seemed the obvious choice for strawberries. And then the rosemary outside the back door called to me, and this sundae was born.

The basic shortbread recipe comes from Jane Hornby’s What to Bake and How to Bake It, which has become my go-to tome for any classic cake or bake. Every recipe I have ever made from this book has been a triumph. I adapted Hornby’s recipe here by simply adding a little chopped rosemary to the mix. This shortbread is light, crumbly, oh so buttery and very moreish. It’s just gorgeous served with rich creamy ice cream and sweet English strawberries. You’ll be pleased to know this recipe provides way more shortbread than you’ll need for the sundaes…

Strawberry ice cream sundae with rosemary shortbread 3

Strawberry ice cream sundaes with rosemary shortbread

For the shortbread – makes around 20 biscuits

225g softened butter
100g caster sugar, plus more for sprinkling
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
280g plain flour
1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 180°C / gas mark 4.

Place the butter in a large bowl and beat well with a wooden spoon or hand mixer until it’s very pale and creamy. Add the sugar, salt and vanilla extract and beat again until even paler.

Sift the flour into the bowl and add the rosemary. Using a spatula or knife, gently fold the flour and rosemary into the mixture until you achieve an even dough. It’s important here not to over-mix.

Roll the dough into a sausage about 6cm in diameter, wrap in clingfilm and chill in the freezer until firm.

Slice the dough into 1cm thick discs and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden.

Sprinkle with caster sugar and leave to cool on the baking tray on a rack.

For the sundaes – serves 4

300g strawberries, hulled and cut into bitesize pieces
1 tub of good quality ice cream – I used Marshfield Farm Rich Clotted Cream

Take a couple of handfuls of strawberries and whiz up in a food processor or using a hand blender to create an extremely simple strawberry sauce.

Place a scoop of your chosen ice cream into the bottom of each sundae glass, followed by a few strawberries and a couple of pieces of broken shortbread. Repeat until you’ve filled each glass. Pour over some strawberry sauce and top with a whole shortbread. Serve at once. Well, why would you want to hang around?

Disclosure: Marshfield Farm provided me with complimentary ice cream for the purposes of recipe development. No money exchanged hands and all opinions are my own.

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