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Fortnum's classic shortbread
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Rice flour is the secret ingredient here - it gives the shortbread a wonderful crisp texture. Take care not to overwork the dough, otherwise the butter will become greasy and give an oily finish to the biscuit.

Fortnum's classic shortbread
Preheat the oven to 150⁰C/300⁰F.

Lightly butter a 17cm square tin.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the flour and rice flour and use a wooden spoon to work all the ingredients together to make a paste. Knead lightly.

Press the mixture into the tin, using the back of a spoon to smooth down the surface. Use a table knife to draw a line down the middle vertically, then mark six lines across horizontally to make 14 fingers. Prick each one with a fork.

Bake for about 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and mark again. Return to the oven and continue to bake for 30 minutes until the mixture is set.

Mark into 14 fingers again then sprinkle with a light dusting of sugar. Cool in the tin for about 30 minutes, then cut into pieces and carefully ease out of the tin. Finish cooling the shortbread on a wire rack then store in an air tight container for up to three days.

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