With the spring properly here now we are enjoying the fresh flavours that come with the warmer weather. Our garden is coming along with the busy bees arriving to enjoy the blooms. Our gooseberry and black currant bushes are a hive of activity which is wonderful. The garden makes a happy place for the bees and butterflies. Need to work on plants to invite along the hummingbirds.
One of my favourite flavours growing up was strawberry and rhubarb. My mum would make a divine strawberry and rhubarb pie that I loved. I wanted to bake something that would include that delicious combination. I was flipping through the “Sweet” book by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh and found a recipe for Custard Yo-Yos that had a rhubarb icing. I thought I would do a strawberry and rhubarb jam instead for the filling.
Make the jam first to give it time to cool. Use a ratio of 1:1 for the strawberry and rhubarb.
In a small saucepan add the fruit and a bit of water so the fruit doesn’t catch as you bring it to a simmer. Add brown sugar a bit at a time until you get the flavour and thickness desired. You do want this on the thick side so it doesn’t drip too much out of the biscuit sandwich.
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C
In a mixer bowl sift together 175g/1 1/3 cups of all purpose flour, 65g/1/2 cup custard powder, 65g/1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon of salt. If you don’t have custard powder ( 😦 ) you can use cornstarch (cornflour) but it won’t be much of a custard biscuit without the custard! I like using Bird’s custard powder. One because it’s good and two it’s what we can easily find. Cube 170g/3/4 cup of unsalted butter that is at room temperature. Add it to the mixer bowl.
Blend on low until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Next add 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract. If you had to use corn starch then make it 1/2 a teaspoon. At this point you will probably be wondering, as I was, how on earth was this dry mixture going to come together. Have no fear! The butter starts it’s job with the vanilla. Start on low then speed up to medium to bring the dough together. It will take 30-60 seconds to happen.
Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll balls of dough of about an 1 inch/2.5-3cm. Place the balls about 1 1/2in/4cm apart.
Dust a fork with flour and press into the tops of the balls. Don’t go all the way through! Just go about halfway.
Bake for 25 minutes. If you use more than one baking sheet, rotate them halfway through. You want the biscuits dry on the bottom and slightly golden. Leave them on the sheet for a couple of minutes then transfer them to a cooling rack.
When the biscuits and jam are cool make sandwiches.
There is nothing like custard with strawberry and rhubarb. Definitely flavours of the beautiful warmer weather.