The kitchen is in the grip of the ‘hungry gap’, the time when the Winter produce has come to an end and Spring fare yet to come into its own. The forced rhubarb is already turning green and the first strawberries seem a while off. I was craving something fresh and fruity so when I saw this Elly Pear recipe for Earl Grey, almond and grapefruit shortbread I knew I had to make them. The grapefruit season runs until May, and they add a delicious, tangy flavour to cakes and bakes. In this case, it goes particularly well with the aromatic tea and nutty almonds in these moreish, crumbly shortbread biscuits. They’re low in sugar (just 2g per biscuit) and are naturally gluten free. To make them, you will need:
2 tsp loose-leaf Earl Grey tea
50g caster sugar
1 grapefruit, zested, plus 2 tsp juice (use the rest to make an optional icing drizzle, mixing a few drops into some icing sugar)
100g ground almonds
70g salted butter, cut into 1 cm cubes.
Tip the tea, sugar and grapefruit zest into a food processor and whizz for a few seconds.
Add the ground almonds and polenta and blitz again. Add the butter and mix until the mixture has the consistency of wet sand. Pour in the grapefruit juice, blitz for a couple of seconds then tip into a large bowl.
Lay on an A4 piece of clingfilm on a work surface. Scoop around half the mixture onto the clingfilm and squeeze into a sausage shape.
Lay the sausage on the longest edge of the clingfilm nearest to you. Roll into a tight log shape, about 3 – 4 cm in diameter and twist both ends to compress the mixture. Repeat with the other half of the mixture and put both dough ‘logs’ into the fridge to chill for one hour.
Preheat the oven 150C/ 300F/ Gas Mark 2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper, unwrap the sausages of dough and slice into small discs, no more than 1 cm thick. The mixture is quite crumbly, but don’t worry – reshape as you go. Lay the slices onto the prepared tray, leaving about 2.5 cm between them as the biscuits will spread as they bake.
Bake for 15 minutes in the centre of the hot oven until the shortbreads are lightly golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking tray for 5 minutes. Using a palette knife, carefully move them to a wire rack to cool completely. They will firm up as they cool. If you want, once they have cooled you can add a little grapefruit icing, made as you would a water icing with a few drops of juice and drizzled over the top of the biscuits.
The Earl Grey, almond and grapefruit shortbread will keep well in an airtight container for a few days.
What are you baking this weekend?