That’s a proper Scottish Shortbread….

Chef on a Mountain

About this time last year, I was wandering up the highest mountain in the UK, ice axe in hand, crampons on, the sun shining and the drift of snow spray gently hitting my face. Following in the footsteps of great men such as Eric Shipton, Lowe and Bourdillion climbing Ben Nevis.

After completing the climb I went for a wander around Fort William and found a lovely little restaurant and bar serving Teas and Coffees and of course, if necessary a ‘Wee Dram’. As the temperature of the summit of The Ben was roughly -13 according to my trusty Suunto Core, I was in need of something hot. So I looked at the menu and decided to go for a cup of honest Tea.

On the side of my tea cup there was a little biscuit, about 2 inches across, neatly rounded and still warm from the oven. Clearly lacking the sugar to function, I scoffed this without even thinking about it.

It was quite honestly the greatest piece of shortbread I have ever tasted. This may have been something to do with the ordeal that I had just faced and the hunger pains that come with that sort of exercise. But I felt compelled to ask the proprietor to give me the recipe instantly. He ushered me into his little kitchenette at the back of his bar and whispered in my ear that it was very simple and all I needed to do was google it.

So here you go…….Max’s Shortbread Recipe

½ pound of Plain Flour

½ pound of Self Raising

1 pound of Butter, chopped

Pinch of salt

1 pound of granulated sugar


Add sugar and butter into the mixed and blend slowly, add self-raising flour and allow to mix. Slowly add the plain flour to reach the consistency so the mix does not stick to the side of the bowl. If the mix still sticks to the side of the bowl then add a little more flour.

This should allow the gluten to stretch to form a grainy dough. Once you are happy with the mix then remove and make into a sausage shape. Cut slices in the sausage making round biscuits and form using your hands.

Pop in the oven at 180 degrees for 7-10mins until golden brown.

Take out and sprinkle with granulated sugar or maybe demerara and allow to cool…..

That’s a proper Scottish Shortbread….

Peter Almgill

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