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Balmoral Shortbread

Since the early Sixteenth Century Queens of May have been recorded in Scotland. The practice of crowning a Summer Queen is still wide spread and basically the proceedings followed are similiar - the ceremonious arrival of the Queen and her attendants, crowning on a decorated dias, procession, sports and games. Many of the Summer Queens have distinctive names eg in Lanark, a Lanimar Queen, crowned on Lanimar Day which is essentially a children's Gala Day. Lanimar Day is one of the highlights of Lanark Lanimar Week which dates back to 1140 and arose from marking the Burgh's boundaries.  On a lesser scale than Lanark the East Wemyss Gala has just been held with The Flag’s 11-year-old Caitlin Wallace as Gala Lass – she had a great day.

Whatever the title of your local Summer Queen, she will surely enjoy a "Royal" treat, Balmoral Shortbread. Queen Victoria was said to be very fond of this shortbread and regularly enjoyed it with a fly cup! To her credit, Victoria found the plain and simple delicacies of the Scottish baking tradition much to her taste.

Balmoral Shortbread

Ingredients:  12 oz ( 375 g ) plain flour; 4 oz ( 125 g ) sugar; 8 oz ( 225 g ) butter; pinch of salt.

Makes 36 - preheat the oven to 350 deg F/ 180 deg C or gas mark 4

Method:  Sift the flour onto a board. Put the sugar into a separate pile and, using both hands, work all the sugar into the butter. Now start kneading in the flour a little at a time. When all the flour is worked in you should have a firm ball of dough. Sprinkle a little flour on the board and roll out very thinly 1/8 " - 1/4 " ( 3 - 5 mm ). Cut into circles about 2 1/2 " in diameter ( 6 1/2 cm ) and prick with a fork in domino fashion with three pricks. Bake on a greased tray in a moderate oven for 30 minutes.



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