These are a perfect bite for afternoon tea. Buttery, deliciously crumbly shortbread laced with floral Earl Grey and spiked with the zesty burst of sunshine from a lemon glaze- they are practically perfect for an al fresco tea break in the sunshine.
This is my tried, tested recipe as approved by my Scottish husband! Whilst traditional shortbread is a straightforward (and tasty!) mix of three simple ingredients – butter; flour and sugar, here I’ve added ingredients that I’ve found amplify a shortbread’s more desirable properties. The combination of semolina, rice flour and cornstarch elevate it’s crumbly moreishness while at the same time preventing it from becoming a chalky, dry shard.
I usually cut mine into the no-fuss finger shapes – easy to handle whilst sipping, whilst maximizing the dough amount. Using a cookie cutter is possible but may result in some surplus offcuts. If you choose this route a handy hint is to stir the offcuts into ice-cream. Even more to enjoy!
Check out this #recipe for Earl Grey & Lemon ShortbreadTweet
Earl Grey Shortbread
- 1 2/3 cups AP Flour
- 2 ½ Tablespoons Earl Grey loose tea
- 1/3 cup Semolina
- 2 Tablespoons Rice Flour
- 1 ½ Tablespoons Cornstarch
- ½ cup fine sugar
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 cup/ 2 sticks salted butter, cold and cubed
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2-3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (to taste)
To make the shortbread
- Lightly grease and line a 9″ x 12″ traybake tin
- In a food processor, combine the floor and the loose tea leaves. Pulse 4-5 times until leaves are mixed finer into the floor
- In a large bowl combine the flour/ tea mixture, semolina, rice flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt. Whisk together to further combine
- Add in the cubed butter and rub together with your fingertips until the mixture is just beginning to bind together. Every so often do a quarter turn of the bowl to make sure you’re using all the dry mixture. You’ll want a texture somewhere between breadcrumbs and damp sand before you stop. Be wary of overworking the butter into the mixture – you want to avoid a dough that feels slimy from the butter melting too much into the dry ingredients
- Tip the crumb mixture into your prepared tin and press the dough so that it forms a solid layer. Level the surface with the back of a spoon or measuring cup, making sure the mixture is evenly spread and uniform. Prick all over with a fork
- With a knife or pizza cutter score the shortbread into 24 rectangular pieces (2 cuts by 7 cuts) taking care not to cut the full way through the compressed crumb
- Refrigerate for 30 mins minimum
- Preheat your oven to 325°F
- Remove the shortbread from the fridge and bake for about 35 minutes or until a very pale golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and after 5 minutes rest in the tin, cut fully through the baked shortbread with a knife or pizza cutter at the score lines you previously made
- Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes. Carefully lift the fingers out of the tin with a palette knife or the parchment paper overhang and finish cooling on a wire rack
- While the shortbread cools, prepare the lemon glaze
To make the Lemon Glaze
- In a bowl or jug combine the powdered sugar and lemon zest. Add the fresh lemon juice to your personal taste (2 -3 teaspoons)
- Make sure the shortbread pieces are fully cooled before glazing. Dip or pipe the glaze onto the shortbread pieces to your personal preference. (I usually transfer mine to a piping bag and drizzle lightly over the shortbread)
- Store in an airtight tin for up to a week