I love lemon, in both sweet and savoury things, and believe it or not yellow is my favourite colour! After baking many batches to perfect them my flatmate Panos certified these biscuits ‘A-class’, and the recipe must be one of the simplest I’ve written. It’s basically a recipe for pastry, flavoured, cut into shapes and baked – so if you want to make a tart bake for 20 minutes in a 9” flan tin and once cool pile on some whipped cream and fresh fruit. By omitting the lemon zest the flavour variations are endless, two of my favourite being vanilla (add 2 teaspoons vanilla extract with seeds) and chocolate (replace 30g flour with cocoa powder).
- 150g unsalted butter, softened
- 90g caster sugar
- 1 egg yolk (of a medium egg)
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 225g plain flour, sifted
In a medium-sized bowl beat the butter with the sugar, egg yolk and lemon zest until smooth. Mix in the flour with a spatula or wooden spoon until the mixture starts to come together, then use your hands to gently knead the dough until it is smooth and comes into a ball. Roll the dough between two sheets of non-stick baking paper until it is 5mm thick then chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes until it firms up.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (170°C fan)/350°F/gas mark 4 and line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Cut out shapes (I use a 7cm round fluted cutter and re-roll the trimmings) and arrange on the trays, bake each tray for 12-14 minutes until golden all over and starting to colour around the edges. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Enjoy with tea – though I prefer them on their own!