Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Lemon shortcake

These are quite plain biscuits but the lemon gives them a nice flavour as does the semolina. I add in semolina after making biscuits when I was a little girl with my grandmother. She added semolina to a basic biscuit recipe and it really amazed me the difference it made to the taste and texture. I had to submit a recipe for the school cookbook and it was that biscuit recipe I included. This is a slight adaptation since it includes lemon but it still reminds me of making those biscuits- I can still remember doing it in her kitchen standing on her steps so I could reach the worksurface1

These are very quick to make and perfect if you have some friends coming for a cuppa and you want something easy to serve. And as my above story suggests- a great recipe to do with kids!

Begin by putting 200g plain flour and 50g semolina in a large bowl. If you don't have any semolina you can just use 250g plain flour but the semolina gives it a nice crunch and flavour.

Mix this altogether then add 175g butter.

Mix in gently with your fingertips until all the butter is incorporated in the flour. Then add 75g caster sugar and the grated zest of a lemon.

I have discovered this lemon zester which is really easy and "grate"(!) to use. You don't need to apply much pressure and it only removed the zest and leaves the pith. There is also a larger hole on the side to take larger pieces of peel for decorations.

Mix everything together and pull together to form a ball.

Then roll it into a sausage. You will be cutting the biscuits from this sausage and they will not rise so make it as fat or as thin as you want depending on how big you want the biscuits (and adjust cooking time accordingly). Place it on a board with a line of demerara sugar alongside it.

Roll the dough in the sugar so it is covered all over.

Then place it on clingfilm and wrap it together and allow to firm up for an hour (this can be done in the fridge).

Remove from fridge and you should have quite a firm sausage of dough. Cut into slices and place on a baking tray.

Bake for about 20-30 minutes (depending on the size of the biscuit) at about 150 degrees C (if you have a fan oven- increase to 170 degrees C otherwise). They will still be a little soft when you remove them from the oven but they do continue to cook and harden even when they come out.

These store well in an airtight container (don't store them in the same tin as cakes since the moisture from the cakes will affect the biscuits).

Simple yet very delicious! Another one that is great to make with kids.

Til soon...

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