Saturday, 14 April 2012

A very short story about shortbread


"..... I got a problem that I think you should know.
See, I've been very perturbed of late, very upset,
Very betwixt and between.
The things that I want, I don't seem to get.
The things that I get--you know what I mean!"

I´ve got those damn expat cravings again,this time its my sweet tooth calling for one of my dear mother´s memorable baking triumphs-her Scottish all butter shortbread.Take me back in time to a grouse moor in  Scotland, and to a kitchen where as a nipper I was allowed to ridge the edges of the shortbread with a fork and then prick it all over at regular intervals to give it the typical shortbread effect.Champion.Wind the clock forward to a windy grey afternoon in Castro Marim 2012.I get my baking head on and with Sondheim´s Follies accompanying me me from the back of the kitchen, I sing-a long-a shortbread and try to rekindle that moment.
Shortbread, is a thick sweet biscuit made with a flour and sugar mixture that has been "shortened"-made  soft and crumbly with fat, typically butter. Not to be confused with shortcake which in America was, and still is, a cake made with a rich biscuit dough that is split,filled with fruit (usually strawberries) and topped with cream. In Britain,shortbread is particularly associated with Scotland,where historically it was made with oatmeal.It is traditionally made in a large circular form and served cut into small triangular wedges.It is even more enjoyable served with a cup of afternoon tea."Oh isn´t it loverly."-I feel better already.

My mother´s butter shortbread


2 comments:

  1. ... made this yesterday..it was gorgeous..I love the crunchiness of the semolina too.

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  2. Ah petticoat tails :)

    I hadn't thought of using semolina. I've always got some to hand as I use it coat roast potatoes. Tend to go with the Jane Grigson suggestion of 3:1 plain flour to rice flour. Definitely going to try this as I suspect as well as crunch it will give a really nice flavour.

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