Recipe 83 – Very Best Shortbread

10th June 2012

A very busy day sorting the allotment out – it looks so tidy now – husband has been over and neatened all the edges for me – something I never do.  It’s all weeded, plants planted and more seeds put in, although I expect the rain forecast for this week will wash the poor things away.  A late walk with the dog and then I thought I should keep out of the kitchen as hubby was cooking one of his wonderful roasts!

After everything had been washed and cleared up from the evening meal, I was itching to get back into the kitchen to bake.  By now it was already getting late, so I looked for a quick recipe. 

The shortbread looked easy, so I decided to make that.  My mum makes wicked shortbread so it would be interesting to see if this lives up to her recipe – it will have to be really, really good to do so.

Out with the mixing bowl (minimal washing up with this recipe!) and into this went the flour and semolina (mum always puts semolina into her shortbread, so things were looking promising).  A quick stir to mix it all together and then I added the sugar and gave this a stir through.  Next it was on to the butter – I had to read the amount quite a few times – it was nearly a whole block of butter.  Gosh, I’d better take the dog for a long run tomorrow, not a walk!!  

Anyway, that was it all the ingredients were there in the bowl.  It was a case of rubbing it in until it started to come together to form a dough.  I was pleased to see that there was no need to roll the dough out, but simply press it into the tin – which again, didn’t need greasing, so even better!

It was then I noticed that the tin was to be put into the fridge until the shortbread was firm – whoops I hadn’t read that bit, oh well I’m sure there’s something I can do in the meantime and whilst it bakes.  I might be last to bed tonight!  Put the oven on to pre-heat.

After 30 minutes, the shortbread looked firm enough so it was into the oven for 30 minutes.  They smell was lovely and my daughter asked if I was cooking a rice pudding – obviously the smell of the semolina!  Now why would I be cooking a rice pudding this late at night?!  After checking on it after 30 minutes, it wasn’t quite done so it remained in the oven for another 5 minutes, after which time it was taken out.  I think I could have left it a little longer, but it was starting to brown at the edges and I didn’t want to over cook it.  At this point I sprinkled some caster sugar over the top, Mary puts demerara sugar on hers, but I’m not too fond of that so thought caster sugar would be nicer.

I left it for 10 minutes and then cut it into fingers – Mary says it should make 30 fingers of shortbread, but I think I made 24 – I didn’t want them too small.  I left it to cool a while longer and then lifted the fingers out.  They didn’t fall apart, so things were looking good!

I didn’t get to taste this shortbread until the next day.  I was very light and quite soft, I was expecting a bit of a crunch.  However, it tasted lovely, but I’m afraid to say not a patch on my mum’s – she’s still the best shortbread maker I know!!


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