This one isn't mine, it's Pam's. JULIAN COLE passes on a good and simple recipe for shortbread

PAMELA Frankland, frequent writer of letters to this newspaper, appends a message to one of her missives, saying that she makes very good shortbread and would we like the recipe.

Certainly, Pam. So here it is. I halved the recipe and made one large round of shortbread and cooked it at a lower temperature in our fan oven, and covered the top with greaseproof paper for the final 20 minutes or so. Anyway, here in full is Pam's recipe, which she says is more than 100 years old and was given to her late mother by a Scottish cook at Thornton-Le-Moor-Hall, Thirsk.


4oz caster sugar

10oz unsalted butter

1lb plain flour

Method: Soften butter. Put all ingredients into a large bowl. With one hand, bind together until a pastry-like ball, smooth and firm. Cut into four equal pieces. Pat into rounds and fork-up the edges and place on greaseproof paper using two Swiss roll tins or similar.

Mark tops with back of the fork, sprinkle with caster sugar. Fork across making a chequered pattern.

Put into the oven, second shelf from the bottom, second shelf from the top.

200C for conventional oven – less for a fan oven, for about an hour.

At halfway, reverse shortbread tins. When it is nicely coloured and firm to touch, remove from the oven.

Sprinkle with a little more castor sugar and cut into eight triangles.

Leave on greaseproof paper on cooling trays until cold. This shortbread is delicious – store in an airtight tin interleaved with greaseproof paper. You must use butter, otherwise it is not my recipe (I did, Pam, honestly I did).