Sometimes the most spontaneous of ideas turn out to be the best, and this super quick and instantly gratifying recipe is certainly no exception. With our recent spell of beautiful hot weather affording us the luxury of “alfresco dining” for every family meal this week, my thoughts have once again turned to Italy. Amalfi in particular, where we spent our honeymoon very nearly five years ago this summer is a region abundant in the most glorious lemons I have ever tasted, bigger than the size of your fist and beautifully imperfect in shape. We arrived late on a balmy night, newly married, exhausted and dehydrated to our apartment greeted by the most incredible lemon tiramisu we’ve ever tasted, made by the land lady to welcome us. Heaven only knows how much it was needed! Happy memories…
Given that I’m now in no fit state to travel so far (32 weeks now) with a small handful of left over lemons in the fruit bowl (not from Amalfi I might add) and feeling peckish for a sweet treat, I decided to bake these zesty little lemon and thyme biscuits to transport me back there instead. If you want me, I’ll be on the terrace overlooking the sea…
Time: 15mins prep, 15mins to bake
125g butter (I used salted as this was what I had to hand)
125g caster sugar
250g plain flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
The zest of two lemons
A handful of fresh thyme, finely chopped
X1 medium egg yolk
Approx. X1 tablespoon double cream or milk
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees/160 degrees fan oven/gas mark 4.
Cream the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Mix in the lemon zest, chopped thyme and egg yolk, then sieve in the flour and baking powder.
Bring your mixture together until it forms a dry dough, then add your double cream or milk until it combines. The dough should just about pull together, it doesn’t want to be wet.
Roll pieces of the dough into conker sized balls roughly an inch apart, then gently press the top of each with a fork to lightly flatten. Pop them into the oven for around 15 minutes or until lightly golden on top. They should be slightly soft in the centre when you remove them from the oven onto a cooling rack, but they’ll dry out nicely once cooled and should have a perfect crunch to them with a slightly softer middle.
Pretty much as close to La Dolce Vita as you’re gonna get.