Recipe: Lemon and Almond Shortbread with Lavender Cream and Summer Berries

Make the most of summer berries by using them to top off these light and crumbly shortbread biscuits
Recipe: Lemon and Almond Shortbread with Lavender Cream and Summer Berries

Lemon & Almond Shortbread.

This time of year, it’s lovely to highlight the delicious summer berries that are available to us. These cookies are light and crumbly and delicious, topped with a lavender cream and fresh fruit — full of summer flavours. Small bite-sized cookies like these would be great with a coffee or after an al fresco lunch.

Lemon & Almond Shortbread

Ingredients (makes about 18 biscuits)

42gr butter

50gr sugar

Zest from 1 lemon, finely chopped

½ tsp vanilla essence

140gr ground almond

Method:

  • Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the lemon zest and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Next add the ground almond in three separate additions, mixing on low after each addition until combined. The dough will be crumbly at first, but continue to mix on low speed and it will come together.
  • Shape the dough into a log that is 1½ inches in diameter and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate for at least two hours or overnight.
  • When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat your oven 175C.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Using a sharp knife cut the dough into ¼ inch thick slices.
  • Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Bake for 7-10 minutes, until the cookies are barely golden on the edges and bottoms.
  • If you are baking two pans of cookies at once, rotate the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through the baking time.
  • Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling. Store cooled cookies wrapped airtight at room temperature for up to five days.

Lavender Pastry Cream

Ingredients

120ml milk

60ml cream

3 to 4 sprigs of fresh lavender (about half if using dried lavender)

30gr sugar

20gr honey

15gr flour

2 free-range egg yolks

½ tsp vanilla essence

150ml cream whipped

Method

  • Warm the milk, pouring cream and lavender in a saucepan until you start to see wisps of steam. It should not actually be boiling. Cover with a lid and allow to infuse for an hour, then re heat gently.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, and salt.
  • Add the egg yolks and vanilla and whisk them into the dry ingredients.
  • Pour a little of the hot milk into the eggs and whisk to combine. Continue pouring the milk slowly into the eggs, whisking continuously.
  • Pour everything back into a clean saucepan and cook gently over a medium heat, stirring constantly.
  • At first, the pastry cream will look very thin and frothy, but it will start to thicken after a few minutes
  • When it has thickened to a pudding-like consistency, and has come to a boil, cook for about 10 more seconds and scrape into a clean bowl to cool.
  • If possible, place this bowl into a bowl of ice to help it cool quickly.
  • Cover the pastry cream with a piece of cling film and chill completely.
  • Once ready to serve, beat or whisk the pastry cream to soften it (it will be quite stiff).
  • Then gently fold in the cream and whisk until mixed together, smooth and thick.
  • Spoon some pastry cream onto each shortbread and top with some fresh berries, or simply pile together the cookies, custard and fruit in a bowl and enjoy.

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