Earl Grey & Lemon Shortbread

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 Shortbread

Makes 24

Ingredients

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

Lemon Glaze

  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2-3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (to taste)

Method

To make the shortbread

  1. Lightly grease and line a 9″ x 12″ traybake tin
  2. In a food processor, combine the floor and the loose tea leaves. Pulse 4-5 times until leaves are mixed finer into the floor
  3. In a large bowl combine the flour/ tea mixture, semolina, rice flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt. Whisk together to further combine
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. Refrigerate for 30 mins minimum
  8. Preheat your oven to 325°F
  9. Remove the shortbread from the fridge and bake for about 35 minutes or until a very pale golden brown.
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. While the shortbread cools, prepare the lemon glaze

To make the Lemon Glaze

  1. In a bowl or jug combine the powdered sugar and lemon zest. Add the fresh lemon juice to your personal taste (2 -3 teaspoons)
  2. 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)
  3. Store in an airtight tin for up to a week

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