• Sift the flour, caster sugar and rice flour or semolina into a mixing bowl, add the cubed butter and rub it with your fingertips until the mixture clings together in heavy lumps. Gather the dough into a ball and then knead it on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Proceed according to how you want the finished shortbread to be shaped.
  • Moulded Shortbread: Lightly sprinkle an 18-20cm diameter shortbread mould with flour, cut the dough in half, roll out each piece to a round, a little smaller than the mould and press, smooth side down, into the mould to fir it exactly. Carefully turn the dough out onto a flat baking tray. The mixture can also be shaped in small moulds to produce biscuit-sized shortbreads.
  • Petticoat Tails: Cut the dough in half and roll out onto two rounds each 18-20cm in diametre. Flute the edges with your fingers, then prick them all over with a fork. Alternatively, fir the two rounds into two fluted tins and prick well.
  • Shortbread Fingers: Press the dough into a shallow, 28x18 cm tin, smooth with a palette knife, then prick weell with a fork.
  • Having prepared the dough according to the shape chosen, chill it in the refrigerator for 1 hour and pre-heat the oven to 160ºC. Bake the moulded shortbread and petticoat tails for 20-25 minutes and fingers for 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through but not browned.
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool and firm up for 5 minutes. Loosen the moulded shortbread and petticoat tails from the baking tray with a palette knife. Mark the petticoat tails into triangles. Cut the fingers into 20 equal pieces while still in the tin. Sprinkle generously with caster sugar.
  • After 15 minutes, transfer the petticoat tails and moulded shortbread to wire racks to cool completely. Leave the shortbread fingers in the tin until cold.
  • The shortbread will keep well if stored in an airtight container.