This shortcake is best eaten made the day it's made, as the curd has the possibility of making the pastry go a bit soggy. That said, I wouldn't hesitate to knock back a slice the next day.
- 180 g unsalted butter, chopped, softened, plus extra 20 g, softened, to grease
- 310 g caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 400 g (2⅔ cups) plain flour
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- 3 cooking apples (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored, cut into thick slices
- 200 g (¾ cup) lemon curd
- whipped cream or vanilla ice-cream, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 2 hours
Rub 20 g softened butter in a deep 24 cm pie dish to grease with a fine film, then swirl 1 tbsp sugar around the inside of the dish.
Cream 180 g softened butter with 200 g sugar, then add eggs one at a time and beat until combined. Beat in vanilla. Mix flour, ¼ tsp salt and baking powder, sieving if lumpy, and add to butter mixture. Stir until just combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours – if it’s at all soft, this mixture can be difficult to work with.
Preheat oven to 170 °C. Roll out two-thirds of dough on a lightly floured surface between plastic wrap or baking paper to a 28 cm round, refrigerating after rolling for 5 minutes in the plastic so it isn’t too sticky. (I sometimes just press the base out to line the pan because it’s a bit quicker and simpler.) Line pan with pastry, and pop into the fridge while you prepare the rest. Roll out remaining dough to a 24 cm round between plastic wrap, and leave in plastic in fridge until needed.
Mix apple slices with 80 g sugar, then lay out evenly over base of pie case. Spread over curd, then top with reserved pastry. Press edges to seal, make an incision in the centre and sprinkle with remaining 2 tsp sugar. Bake in the middle of the oven for 35 minutes or until pastry is browned and crisp. Cool. Serve with cream or ice-cream.