Today is ‘Stir-up Sunday’, the day my thoughts inevitably turn towards Christmas baking and making. But before I embrace all things festive, it’s St Andrew’s Day on Thursday – so shortbread seemed the order of the day. This recipe for glazed clementine and cardamom shortbread combines seasonal spice and sweet orange flavours, not only making it perfect for any Scottish-themed celebrations but also a lovely festive gift for the weeks to come. They are pretty simple to whip up but the topping makes them look impressive – and the blend of citrus and spice is simply irresistible. To make them, you will need:
125 g salted butter, softened, in pieces
50 g caster sugar
125 g plain flour, plus more to dust
60 g cornflour
½ tsp ground cardamom
Clementines (I used three)
2 – 3 tbsp caster sugar, for sprinkling.
Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a food mixer. Cream together, then gradually sift in the flour, cornflour and cardamom, mixing as you do, until everything is blended. Do not over-mix.
Wrap in cling film and chill for 20–30 minutes, to make it easier to handle.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to about 5mm thick and, using a round fluted cutter, stamp out the shortbreads. Gather and re-roll (the fewer times the better, as it will toughen it). Lay the shortbread on the prepared baking tray and chill for 20–30 minutes (so they will hold their shape better). Preheat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C/350F/Gas 4. Before baking, top each with a very thin slice of clementine, dried well with kitchen paper. Bake for 20 – 22 minutes.
Sprinkle over 2–3 tbsp caster sugar as soon as they come out of the oven and leave to cool. Remove the parchment from under the shortbreads and briefly place the shortbread under the grill to glaze the clementine slices.
Watch like a hawk so the shorbread doesn’t burn, but the star shape of the cut clementine is highlighted.
The glazed clementine and cardamom shortbread is best eaten within two days, as they will soften.
Recipe via Fiona Cairns. Fairy lights from the festive dream that is the White Company’s Christmas shop – they even went to find me a box when we were a day early for the display going up in the Edinburgh store!