Prep 30 mins
Cook 25 mins
This wonderful dessert is all about strawberry season and summer. The buttery, golden shortbread crust and creamy strawberry filling complement each other and are a true pleasure. Add fresh strawberries before serving for a beautiful presentation.
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature*
- 1⁄3 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- if you use salted butter, omit the 1/4 teaspoon salt in the recipe.
- 16 ounces container fresh strawberries, with additional for garnish, if desired (about 4 cups)
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3⁄4-1 cup granulated sugar, to taste
- 1⁄4 cup cold water
- two 1/4-ounce packages plain gelatin
- 2 cups heavy cream or 2 cups whipping cream
- fresh strawberries, to garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F Lightly grease a 9" square pan.
- Mix the softened butter with the remaining ingredients, beating until cohesive. The mixture will seem very dry at first; it may take up to 3 minutes beating at medium-high speed to bring it together. If it just won't come together, drizzle in a bit of milk, a teaspoon at a time, until it does.
- Pat the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan, and prick it all over with a fork. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 300°F and bake 15 to 20 minutes longer, until golden. Remove the crust from the oven, and let it cool completely.
- Hull the strawberries, but don't bother slicing them. Puree them in a food processor or blender.
- Add the lemon juice and granulated sugar, stirring to combine. The filling can be prepared to this point and refrigerated for later use, if desired.
- Place the 1/4 cup cold water in a microwave-safe bowl or very small saucepan. Add the gelatin, stirring to combine; the mixture will become stiff and jelly-like.
- Heat gently, in the microwave or over a low burner, just until the gelatin dissolves, and the mixture liquefies.
- Immediately stir the gelatin mixture into the strawberry purée, whisking to combine thoroughly. Refrigerate the mixture until it begins to thicken. This might take as little as 10 minutes, if you've chilled the puree ahead of time. Don't let it thicken too long; it should be the consistency of soft-serve ice cream.
- Whip the 2 cups cream until stiff. Fold in the strawberry puree gently but thoroughly.
- Spoon the filling over the crust in the pan, smoothing the top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Cut in squares, and serve with fresh sliced berries, and/or crushed/sweetened berries. Refrigerate any leftovers, well wrapped.