Courtesy of the Earsham Street Cafe’s Gemma Parker:

There were great street parties in 1945 with every family contributing a dish. Cooking was creative during the war as many ingredients were rationed, hard to imagine now with the usual abundance of food we are used to. Hopefully everyone can still celebrate VE Day even in lock down. Although I never need an excuse to bake, this is a great opportunity for some wartime cooking. As Eggs were not abundant an eggless recipe is in order. If you want a really authentic wartime shortbread use a wholemeal flour.

Wartime Shortbread

180g Plain flour
120g Margarine (or butter for a modern upgrade)
60g Caster sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/ gas mark 4/ fan 160C. Line the bottom of a 15cm tin preferably with a removable base.

2. Put all ingredients in a bowl and gently rub in so the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

3. With your hands squidge the mixture together to bring it into a ball.

4. Press into the the prepared tin until level and prick with a fork all over.

5. Bake for approx. 35 mins until golden brown. Leave to cool enough to handle the tin.

6. Remove the shortbread from the tin and cut into 8 portions while still warm. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

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