Make Fortnum & Mason’s famous shortbread

Felicity Carter
·2-min read
Photo credit: Fortnum & Mason
Photo credit: Fortnum & Mason

From Town & Country

Indulge in some homemade shortbread biscuits courtesy of Fortnum & Mason. Expect traditional shortbread that’s oh-so-buttery – and to finish, they’re sprinkled with clove-scented sugar for a wintry touch.

Shortbread dusted with clove sugar

Ingredients
230g unsalted butter

170g golden caster sugar

340g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
55g semolina

For dusting the shortbread:
2 tablespoons golden caster sugar

1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves

Method
Put the butter and sugar into a mixing bowl and beat until they are pale and fluffy. Sift in the flour, then add the semolina and stir until the mixture forms a ball – you might need to bring it together with your hands. Knead very lightly until smooth, then wrap in cling film and chill for one to two hours.

Roll out the mixture on a lightly floured surface to about a five millimetres thickness. Cut into rounds with a six centimetres pastry cutter and place on baking sheets lined with baking parchment. Chill for 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix together the caster sugar and ground cloves to make the clove sugar.

Place in an oven heated to 160°C/Gas Mark 3 and bake for 12–15 minutes, until very lightly coloured. Remove from the oven and sprinkle immediately with the clove sugar. Leave to cool.

Instead of making biscuits, you could bake the mixture in a traditional shortbread mould. Turning it out of the mould can be a little tricky but the finish is amazing. Use the mould according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then dust the shortbread with clove sugar immediately after it comes out of the oven, and again when you have turned it out of the mould. If you don’t have a mould you can bake the shortbread in two greased 18cm sandwich tins for about 20 minutes. Dust with clove sugar, leave to cool, then cut each round into eight wedges.

This recipe is from ‘Fortnum’s Christmas and Other Winter Feasts’ by Tom Parker Bowles.