For many years we spent New Year with friends in Scotland. After the clock had struck twelve we used to wrap up and set out to first-foot in the few neighbouring cottages under the moor. At each cottage we were offered a piece of Black bun and some shortbread, which were often helped down with a home-brewed and extremely potent liqueur. In Scotland, it is traditional to have shortbread in the house to offer to friends throughout the festive season. You must hide this away in a tin or it will get eaten up too quickly! If you like you can use wholemeal flour which will give a nuttier taste and texture.
Put the butter, the icing sugar and the grated lemon rind into a bowl and cream them together with a whisk. This doesn’t need to be done very thoroughly Mix the flour, cornflour, ground rice and ginger together in a bowl and the gradually whisk them into the creamed butter and sugar. Using floured hands gather up the dough, divide it in half and press it quickly into two buttered
© 1978 Josceline Dimbleby. All rights reserved.