Easy Strawberry Shortbread Sandwiches

Wimbledon fortnight draws to a close this Sunday.  The UK newspapers would have you believe that Britain's entire population comes together in its' adulation for the tournament. While there are certainly sports and tennis fans who get excited about it, most people who watch aren't avid tennis fans, but like it because of the patriotic, ritualistic and traditional elements of the event.  The tennis whites, the tense tranquility of Centre Court, Murray's Mound (so, so wrong) the gentle 'pock' of a tennis ball bouncing off a ballboy's head...

Ugh, I wonder if it's actually possible to write about Wimbledon without sounding like the AP Stylebook.  Personally, I don't enjoy much at all about Wimbledon. I don't like tennis. I don't like the quaintness of the event, which sits with the genteel cricket on the village green imagery that certain factions like to think of as being quintessential England. 

The worst thing about Wimbledon is that it knocks the regular television programmes around in the schedules. Normally, this isn't too big of a deal, but earlier this year, I discovered a quiz show called 'Pointless'.  It normally shows at 5:15pm but because of the tennis, it's not being shown for the whole Wimbledon period.  So thanks, Wimbledon, for killing my new early-evening tradition of having a pre-dinner drink while shouting at Pointless contestants.

I take solace in strawberries; the only good thing associated with Wimbledon as far as I'm concerned. I bought a punnet of Jubilee strawberries this week, which are extra sweet this year, because the late-starting summer in the UK meant that the plants had longer to mature before bearing their fruit.  They are really good; definitely the closest thing to pick-your-own that I've bought in a supermarket in a long time, with a very strong scent, even when stored in the fridge. I've made a couple of other things with them and I used the extra strawberries to sandwich together some shortbread, to form a quick dessert for tonight's dinner.

The shortbread recipe I used was for 'Special Shortbread Biscuits', from 'Mary Berry's Baking Bible'. It's a really easy recipe and the biscuits were perfectly turned out.

Along with the strawberries, I used some Golden Acre Quark, mixed with some icing sugar (a teaspoon of icing sugar and a tablespoon of Quark gives you enough filling for two sandwiches), to stick the biscuits together.  If you use more than one layer each of Quark and strawberries, as seen in the plated shortbread above, things get messy. But you can easily eat these one-handed if you just put one layer of everything in your sandwich.

Or you could do what I'm doing for my guests this evening; put bowls of sweetened Quark and sliced strawberries on the table, serve the shortbread to each person and let them assemble their own sandwiches. No double-dipping into the Quark though, please.

I've submitted these to Ren Behan's 'Simple & In Season' blog event, please hop over there to see the other entries for June.