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Seniors: Grandma’s recipes

These recipes are from my grandma – they are apparantley SAF (Scottish As Fuck), as was my grandmother. They come from a book she made me a few years ago (before she died) when she found out I was into baking, and wanted to pass on the family wisdom. The second recipe is a little weird, but I figured it’s the sort of thing you only find in recipe books your grandmother made you. Her name was Eileen Clark, by the way.

Real Scottish Shortbread

• 2 cups flour (or a bit more)

• 1 cup butter

• 1/2 cup sugar

You put the flour and sugar in two little piles on a baking board and work (knead) the butter into the flour and sugar alternately, until the butter has absorbed them. If dough is too soft you can work in a bit of extra flour.

Roll the dough with your hands into one long roll.

Now cut the roll into about six slices (these will be quite thick).

On a floured board. with a rolling pin lightly floured, roll each slice into a round.

Now cut the round into six, or maybe eight, pieces (my grandma drew a little picture of, like, a pie-shaped thing here).

(Before you do this, you can make little thumb marks all round the circumference of the round, so that each piece will look like this (my grandma drew a little picture of a pie slice with three circles at the wide end here).

Lift the pieces on to a cookie sheet and prick every one with a fork.

Bake in a moderate oven, (about 300º F, I think), till golden brown.

The little triangular pieces of shortbread are called “petticoat tails!”

Lemon Curd (very Scottish!)

• 2 lemons

• 2 eggs

• 1/4 cup butter

• 1 cup sugar

Squeeze the lemons. Beat the eggs well.

Put all ingredients into top of a double boiler, over boiling water.

Stir constantly until cooked (mixture will thicken, and will coat a silver spoon). Do not let boil.

Cool slightly, then pour into a sterile glass jar (this has been boiled for at least 5 minutes – keep in hot water till needed).

Keep lemon curd in refrigerator. It makes a delicious spread.

– Ian Beattie

Shnenokle (Floating Island)

• 2 litres milk

• 5 eggs (whites and yolks separated)

• 1/2 cup sugar

• 2 tbsp. flour or corn starch

• 1 tbsp. vanilla extract

• chocolate (optional)

Mix egg whites in a bowl with an electric mixer until they become a solid, shiny mass.

Bring milk to a boil. Once boiling, bring to low heat.

Carefully drop large spoonfulls of the frothed egg whites to the hot milk. Let the “clouds” cook for 2 minutes each. Transfer the finished “clouds” into a clean bowl.

To make the sauce, add the five egg yolks to the sugar. Mix well. Add the two tablespoons flour and mix. Add 3 tablespoons of the hot milk in which the “clouds” have been cooking and mix some more.

Bring the left-over milk to a boil once more, and then reduce heat. Slowly add the egg yolk mixture and whisk.

Remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool. Refrigerate until completely cold.

Transfer the cold sauce into individual serving dishes (preferably shallow bowls), then add the “clouds” to each. Re-refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before serving. Grating some chocolate over top is optional.

– Nadja Popovich