26 Nov 2010

On shortbread and lemon curd

Jemimah and I have been baking shortbread. Mmmmmmm crisp, buttery yumminess to get us in the Festive Mood. Of all the items that we bake for the Christmas season, this is probably my family's favourite.

We've eaten quite a lot already. Jemimah and I, of course, take our positions of Royal Cup-bearers very seriously. We must taste test each batch of dough before baking to check for possible tampering. Imagine our shame if something poisoned came from the kitchen of our peaceful home! I mean to say. We taste each batch twice. Just to be sure, of course. You must be sure. Testing the finished product is an essential part of the process as well. Obviously.

Daddy prefers his shortbread cooked. Strange man. He loves it dipped in honey or lemon curd straight from the jar. There have been a number of miserable comments about the lack of home-made lemon curd in the pantry over the last few days. Being a bad wife I did suggest that asking his mother-in-law might be a good idea, but with a gentle sigh he replied that he had done that three or four times already. So it looks like I'll be cooking up some next week doesn't it?

Bad wife.

If he would stop eating it by the spoonful straight from the fridge it would last longer. That's all I'll say on the subject.

Have you noticed that some people make their shortbread too thick? I like mine thin. And crunchy from the rice flour. I also like my petticoat tails to be small, but not as small as my Mum does. She cuts her saucer sized rounds into sixteenths. We settle for twelfths. Only we make some sixteenths too - just to cover our bases.

Do all the rest of you make shortbread for Christmas, or is it a follow on from my Scottish heritage? Mind you, my dear Dad always said that shortbread was only eaten at Hogmanay when he was a kid in Scotland. Anyhow, do you make it? Is it part of your tradition too? Do you like it? Thick or thin? Petticoat tails or fingers? Dunked?

How do you eat yours?


  1. I never made shortbread in my life until a few years ago! It is incredibly yummy. None of my recipes call for rice flour, though (an American abomination, perhaps?). Maybe you should post the proper recipe for us!

    Another confession: to my knowledge I have never tried lemon curd in my life. Don't tell your hubby - what would he think of me?! A British friend who lives in Hokkaido just recently had something on her blog about making a big batch, and it looked so delicious. I'll have to try her recipe the next time I get my hands on some good lemons!

  2. We make shortbread ~ only not this year because this year we have no oven. I like it anyway it comes: cooked, uncooked, thick, thin, crunchy. We do not dunk. Lemon butter is for tartlets & toast & I think we need to make some more because everyone in this house eats it by the spoonfull straight from the jar. Blessing on your houshold for the Christmas season. ☺

  3. I love shortbread. Ummmm just haven't cooked any though. Perhaps I should give it a go? :o)

  4. I've never made shortbread before though I love to eat them lol!
    Actually I was planning on making some with Rebekah for this Christmas seeing we're actually home for christmas this year!
    Never heard of lemon curd before, is that the same as lemon butter (must be from Ganeida's comment:)) if that's the case, no, it's not my favourite:( sorry to your dh!

  5. Love love LOVE lemon butter, on pancakes, scones and if I can't be bothered baking, yep, straight out of the jar :)

    My mother always made shortbread at Christmas, she has some lovely wooden shortbread moulds that she uses. They make quite fat slices (five per round). I've never made shortbread myself!
    I'll have to blog about our cultural Christmas/New Year traditions :)

  6. I love thick shortbread and I never use rice flour. I like a little "chew" in the middle and often add lemon and macadamia nuts as something special. The lemon gives it a lovely tang against the 250gms of butter.

    dipping it in lemon curd sounds wonderful!!! How about dipping it in chocolate and letting it go hard?

  7. Ooh, mmmm, now you're talking something close to my heart. We could talk for a long while about shortbread. Too much for the proper length of a comment.

    I think I made around 14,000 shortbread cookies a year while we had our restaurant. I never tired of making them, either.

    I don't eat raw dough (my boys are the cup bearers) but we had one particular customer who would come in Saturday morning and order two raw pieces of shortbread!


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