"The light, delicate fragility of this shortcake sets it apart from the dense and more traditional shortbread that figures large in Scottish cookery," says chef Jeremy Lee. "It makes a mockery of the idea that Scottish cookery is heavy and stodgy." This recipe is based on one in his mother's much used copy of Plain Cookery Recipes, which bulges with notes appended over the years.
12 tbsp. butter, softened
2⁄3 cup superfine sugar
Finely grated zest of one small orange
(about 1 tsp.)
1 cup flour
3⁄4 cup whole unblanched almonds, ground
2⁄3 cup toasted white bread crumbs
1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
4 cups raspberries
1. Put butter and 1⁄3 cup of the sugar into a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until pale and well combined, about 1 1⁄2 minutes. Add orange zest and beat again until just combined, about 15 seconds. Add flour, almonds, and bread crumbs and beat again until a soft dough forms, about 1 minute.
2. Transfer dough to a piece of plastic wrap and roll up, twisting both ends tightly as if it were a piece of candy, to form a 3"-wide log. Refrigerate dough for 8 hours or overnight.
3. Preheat the oven to 300°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. Unroll dough, discarding plastic wrap, and cut log crosswise into sixteen 1⁄4"-thick slices. Arrange slices on baking sheets in a single layer, leaving them spaced at least 1" apart. Bake until just golden and slightly puffed, about 20 minutes. Transfer shortcakes to a wire rack and let cool.
4. To assemble: Beat heavy cream in a large bowl to soft peaks. Put a small dollop of whipped cream in the middle of a small plate (or, as Lee puts it, "a comma of cream to a wee plate") to hold shortcake in place and top with a shortcake. Dollop a large spoonful of whipped cream on shortcake; heap with 1⁄2 cup of raspberries and another spoonful of whipped cream. Sprinkle with some of the remaining sugar to taste and put another shortcake on top. Repeat process with remaining shortcakes, whipped cream, raspberries, and sugar. Serve immediately.