The skies may be grey and rain falling by the bucketload where I am, but at least the middle of winter brings bright colourful relief with the citrus fruit season. We now have beautiful lemons and oranges, satsumas, tangerines and the lovely clementines I used to make these shortbread, and hopefully the blood orange season is just round the corner. I adore blood oranges, for the novelty of the colour, but the flavour is superb too, nicer than ordinary oranges in my opinion.
This recipe comes from the wonderful 'Cakes' book in the River Cottage series, written by Pam Corbin (and slightly modified by me). Thanks Pam!
Clementine shortbread - makes lots!
150g unsalted buter, cut into small pieces, softened
75g caster sugar
150g plain flour
zest 1 clementine
Selection of cutters (I used my new star shaped ones)
- Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas 3.
- Beat the butter until softened. Work in the sugar until well mixed.
- Sift in the flour and cornflour, then add the clementine zest and mix until smooth - keep going, it will all come together although it doesn't feel like it will. You can use your hands to gently bring the dough together - try and knead it as lightly and as little as possible.
- Lightly flour the surface and roll out the dough, I wanted fairly thick biscuits, so didn't roll too thinly.
- Cut out biscuits with cutters of your choice, or just cut into pieces with a knife if you have no cutters!
- Bake for around 20 minutes until very lightly coloured - I think mine needed a little longer to get to a stage of done-ness I was happy with, but be careful not to colour them too much.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack.
The shortbread will apparently keep for up to four weeks in an airtight container - if you can resist it for that long!
They are beautifully crumbly, tender biscuits. The clementine is quite subtle - you get the flavour of the clementine straightaway and then the buttery shortbread takes over - yum! I think I could definitely add more zest next time for a stronger flavour. This would be a very good recipe to have in the 'basics' repertoire. Very successful!