Pitcaithly Bannock

Pitcaithly Bannock is a delicious Scottish crumbly shortbread, flavoured with almonds and candied peel. Serve it with coffee.

8 oz. plus

1 teaspoon butter, softened

2 oz. plus

1 tablespoon castor sugar 12 oz. flour 2 oz. blanched almonds, chopped 2 oz. candied peel, chopped

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

Lightly grease a 9-inch loose-bottomed flan tin with the teaspoon of butter. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the remaining butter and the 2 ounces of sugar together with a wooden spoon until the mixture is light and creamy.

Add the flour, a little at a time and, using your hands, knead the mixture until it is soft and sticks together. Add the almonds and candied peel and knead lightly until well mixed. Pat the dough into a ball. Place the dough in the flan tin.

Using your hands or the back of a spoon, press the dough out evenly in the bottom of the tin.

Prick the dough all over with a fork

Pita is a flat Middle-Eastern bread, perfect for meat and salad fillings. and, using a sharp knife, mark the dough circle into 16 equal sections. Place the flan tin in the oven and bake the short-bread for 40 to 45 minutes or until it is a pale golden colour.

Remove the flan tin from the oven and transfer the shortbread to a wire rack. Sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar and set aside to cool completely. When the shortbread is cold, cut into wedges and serve.

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