This summer showstopper is a real treat for picnics and garden parties.
140g (5 oz) butter, softened
175g (6 oz) caster sugar
3 medium-sized eggs
225g (8 oz) self raising flour
Filling and decoration
300ml (10 fl oz) double cream
450g (1 lb) strawberries
2-3 tbsp redcurrant jelly
A little caster sugar
1. Lightly grease and flour two 20cm (8 inch) sandwich tins. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy then gradually beat in the eggs, a dessert spoon full at a time. Sift the flour and fold into the mixture. Mix well until you get a softish dough and divide into two.
2. Roll out to make two 20cm (8 inch) circles and press these into the tins, marking one into 6 or 8 petticoat tail shapes.
3. Use the AGA Baking oven or Rayburn main oven set to 180 (350 F), Gas Mark 4. Bake on a grid shelf on the lowest set of runners for about 25 minutes until the light golden and firm. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes before carefully turning out and cooling on a wire rack.
4. Lightly whip the cream so that it just holds its shape. Halve the strawberries and toss in a bowl with the redcurrant jelly and a little sugar. Spread two-thirds of the cream on the plain circle and top with most of the strawberries. Pipe or spoon some cream equally in 6 or 8 positions on top of the fruit and arrange the petticoat - tail pieces around the shortcake to give a fanned effect. Dust with a little extra caster sugar and decorate with a halved strawberry on the top of each portion.
Note: it's best to assemble the shortcake just before eating to prevent the cake becoming soft.