The secret to success with this is all in the construction.
First make the shortcake pastry and chill it for at least half an hour, then roll out the lid between sheets of floured baking paper because it is hard to handle and will stick to anything. I roll out the pastry into a rough circle to line the tin and then press it in using my hands then work it up the sides of the tin using my fingers (although only about halfway up the sides or it will be too tall and the pastry too thin).
This quantity makes a smallish cake in a 20 cm tin, I always double the pastry recipe and have enough to make one in a 24 cm tin and a second one on a 8" foil pie plate (that one goes to my son's house) but increase the apples to about 8 if you are doing the same as I do. Enjoy!
For the shortcake:
11/4 cups standard (plain) flour
1/4 cup cornflour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup caster sugar
4 oz unsalted butter, softened
1 egg ~ well beaten
a few drops vanilla extract
For the filling:
4-5 large apples, preferably Granny Smiths, peeled, cored and sliced fairly thinly
2 tablespoons sugar
You will need a 20 cm spring form tin, line the base with a circle of non stick baking paper and lightly grease the sides. If making double the quantity of pastry see my notes above.
Oven pre heated to 175c
First cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the beaten egg and vanilla extract and beat until well mixed.
Sift the flour, cornflour and baking powder together and add to the mixture. Stir until it starts to come together. Knead lightly on a well floured board until you have a smooth soft dough like so ~
Wrap the dough in a plastic bag and chill for 30 minutes.
Cut 1/3 off the dough for the lid and roll out between 2 sheets of floured baking paper ~ using the tin as a guide cut around it so you have a lid that will fit perfectly, put the sheet of baking paper back on top and pop it in the fridge. Roll out the remaining dough into a rough circle while making sure it's not sticking to the board and place it in the tin. Use your hands to press it in well and work it up the sides of the tin to a height of about 2". Now put this in the fridge while you get on with the apple filling.
Put the sliced apples and the sugar in a saucepan and heat on a medium setting until the apples are starting to cook and the sugar has dissolved. Then put a lid on the pan and turn the heat up high, keep shaking the pan to make sure the fruit isn't burning or sticking. You want the fruit filling to be nice and hot but you aren't aiming to cook it at this stage. When it's nice and hot turn off the heat and quickly retrieve the tin and pastry lid from the fridge. Tip the hot apple mixture into it, quickly place the lid on top pressing it down lightly around the edges to form a good seal. Sprinkle the top with a teaspoon of caster sugar and put it into the oven.
Bake at 175 c for 15 minutes then reduce the temperature to 150 and bake for a further 20 - 30 minutes. It's cooked when it feels firm to the touch and is a nice golden brown colour. Allow to cool before running a knife around the edge of the tin before releasing the clasp. The shortcake will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 - 3 days.
Now onto a totally different subject ~ I've started collecting these decorating samples. We're going to be doing renovations to the house. I'm dreading it in a way but also looking forward to seeing the place looking like it should look. There will be a brand new shiny kitchen, a new bathroom, 2 rooms are going to be knocked into one, a proper studio/craft room will be created for myself and a total redecoration throughout. I like the green paint swatch and love the name ~ Tea Ceremony, how quaint. I'm thinking it may be used in my bedroom :-)