Apple and Mint Hazelnut Shortcake

Ingredients
  • 150g/5oz Wholemeal flour.
  • 50g/2oz Hazelnuts, ground.
  • 50g/2oz Icing sugar, sifted.
  • 150g/5oz Unsalted Butter, or Margarine.
  • Flour for rolling.
  • 3-Sharp Eating Apples.
  • 5ml/1tsp Lemon Juice.
  • 15-30ml/1-2tsp Caster Sugar, to taste.
  • 15ml/1tbsp Chopped fresh Mint, or 5ml/1tsp Dried Mint.
  • 250ml/8floz Whipping Cream or Creme Fraiche.
  • A few drops of Vanilla Essence.
  • mint sprigs and whole Hazelnuts to decorate.
Method
  1. Process the flour, hazelnuts,and icing sugar with the butter in a food processor or blender, in short bursts, or rub the butter into the dry ingredients until they come together(dont over work the mixture).bring the dough together, adding a very little iced water if necessary. Knead the dough briefly, then wrap in greaseproof paper and chill for 30 mins.
  2. Preheat the oven to 160c/325f/gas 3. Cut the dough in half and roll out each half, on a lightly floured surface, to an 18cm/7in round. Place on greaseproof paper on baking sheets and bake for about 40 mins, or until crisp. If browning too much, move them down to a lower shelf in the oven. Allow to cool.
  3. Peel, core and chop the apples into a bowl with the lemon juice. Transfer to a pan, add sugar to taste, then cook for 2-3mins, until just softening. Mash the apple gently with the mint and leave to cool.
  4. Whip the cream or creme fraiche with the vanilla essence. Put one shortcake base on a serving plate. Spread half of the apple then half of the cream on top. Place the second shortcake on top, then spread over the remaining apple and cream, swirling the top layer of cream gently. Decorate with mint sprigs and a few hazelnuts, then serve at once.