Scotland is basking in the first of the summer sunshine this week, a much welcome change to the very soggy May we have left behind. Summer berries are finally available in the supermarket, and we have chosen Raspberry Shortbread as this week’s recipe to celebrate the start of summer (just don’t look too far ahead in the weather forecast!). This recipe is taken from Scottish Baking by Sue Lawrence, a brilliant compendium of traditional Scottish baking recipes, both sweet and savoury, which is a must-read for any keen baker.
Raspberry Shortbread from Scottish Baking by Sue Lawrence
The idea for this came quite simply because, as I was eating a piece of shortie with the first raspberries of the season and marvelling how well they go together, it occurred to me – why did I not try to combine the two? The result is, to my mind, astonishingly good.
It is essential to use fresh berries, not frozen, and ones that are firm, though ripe. If the berries are soft and squishy, when you tip the shortbread mixture over them they will collapse and ooze pink juices, which is not the point.
This shortbread is a little more fragile than the other shortbreads here, so handle with care. Also, unlike other shortbreads, it does not keep well, so use within a day or freeze till later.
200g/7oz butter, softened
100g/3½oz golden caster
sugar + extra to sprinkle
250g/9oz self-raising flour,
70g/2½oz medium oatmeal
200g/7oz fresh raspberries
(ripe yet firm)
Cream the butter and sugar together until really creamy and pale: this will take 4–5 minutes in a food mixer and longer by hand.
Now add the combined flour and oatmeal and a pinch of salt, in a couple of batches, only adding more when each batch is incorporated. When it is all mixed in, bring together with your hands.
Meanwhile, butter a Swiss-roll tin (23 x 33cm/9 x 13in).
Arrange the raspberries over the base evenly. Tip the shortbread mixture all over and, using floured hands, gently press down so the mixture levels out. (Don’t worry if there are little unfilled patches as, since it’s self-raising flour, the mixture will spread out to fill all gaps.) Prick all over with a fork and place in a preheated oven (150C/300F/Gas 2) for 35–40 minutes until golden brown.
Remove the tins to a wire rack, sprinkle with a little sugar, then cut each into 24 pieces until completely cold before decanting to wire rack.