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Family Recipes: Mama’s Shortbread

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They’re the recipes that have been handed down from generation to generation, handwritten on batter-splattered and well-worn pages.

These are the recipes we treasure, and now we’re sharing them with you to bring a piece of history to your kitchen.

Mama’s Shortbread

This recipe has been passed down from mother to mother for four generations of my family—a tradition I can only hope continues well into the future.

Ridiculously buttery, yet light enough for multiple servings, this shortbread was originally my great grandmother’s (Mama) who always made it for Christmas, along with a traditional fruit cake.

Her daughter (my grandmother) modified it to include the option of ginger—the perfect modern twist on a Scottish favourite for a family with roots on the Isle of Skye.

Ingredients

  • 220g butter
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 280g plain flour
  • 60g rice flour
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 1 good teaspoon pure vanilla

Method

Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Add the egg and beat again. Sift both flours with salt and add to the butter mix with the vanilla.

Make a stiff dough and arrange in a tin at about 2-3cm thick. Mark out the squares and then prick all over with a fork.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes in a moderate oven—180°C (350°F). Once cooled slightly, cut through the marks.

STYLING Belinda Neame

PHOTOGRAPHY Tim Bean

This article originally appeared in Magazine: Time (AW2020), available to read free online.

Read it here.

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