One benefit of living in a country as large as Australia is that while it may be snowing down south where I live, up north in Queensland, it's sunny and warm and strawberries are never out of season.
I don't usually cook strawberries so I thought it might be nice to use these in a baked item and I've chosen to make a slice. It's a pretty easy recipe and the same mix that is used to make the base also forms the crumble top. It's based on shortbread but I've used soft brown sugar rather than caster - it gives a richer flavour to the shortbread. I've also added a little marmalade for tang - it's a good contrast to the strawberry and it needs it to cut through the sweet buttery richness of the pastry.
[Makes 1 - 8x12inch/20x30cm slice]
150 grams softened butter, cut into cubes
100 grams soft brown sugar
250 grams plain flour
100 grams slivered almonds
400 grams strawberries, halved or quartered depending on size
Beat the butter and brown sugar until pale and creamy. Add in the flour and slivered almonds and beat until just combined. The mixture will look crumbly - that is perfectly normal. Set aside 150grams of the mixture to use as the topping.
Line the slice tray with baking paper and sprinkle over with the mixture - flatten it out with a back of a spoon, applying even pressure to compress the base.
Lightly coat the surface with a couple of spoonfuls of marmalade - I used cumquat but orange, lemon or lime would all work - just use your favourite.
Arrange the strawberries randomly over the top - I placed them cut side down. Take the reserved mixture and sprinkle it evenly over the strawberries.
Cook in a preheated 170°C oven for about 35 to 45 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
As the pastry is quite short you'll need to let it cool completely in the pan so you can handle it without the risk of breaking.
When cold, cut into slices and serve.