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Pistachio and Lemon Shortbread Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Servings 20 Biscuits
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  • 100 g (shelled)
  • 2 tsp - you can substitute for 2tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp grated
  • 1 tbsp hot boiled
  • 1/8 tsp ground (optional)
  • for dusting


  • Blitz the pistachio nuts in the food processor a couple of time until they are broken up into small pieces.
  • In a large bowl combine the pistachios, semolina, flour, vanilla paste, lemon rind, salt and work the butter through the mixture until a dough forms.
  • If you are using saffron, pour the boiled water over the saffron in small bowl or saffron steamer if you have one and set aside for a few minutes.
  • Add the saffron water or plain water (if omitting the saffron) to the dough and work until a solid ball forms. Remove from the bowl if you haven't already and roll into a thick log about 4-5cm wide. Wrap tightly in cling film and pop in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  • Heat your oven to 130°C Fan (or 150°C for conventional ovens) and line a baking tray with non-stick paper. Once the oven has reached temperature take the dough out of the fridge.
  • The dough should be much firmer now it has rested in the fridge. Cut your dough log into 1cm thick disks (or thicker if you like a chunky shortbread!) and place each disk on the baking paper around 2cm apart as they will grow slightly in the oven.
  • Sprinkle your shortbreads with lashings of caster sugar and pop in the oven for around 20 minutes or until the sides of the biscuit turn ever so slightly golden brown. They will be soft and still pale when they come out of the oven so don't panic.
  • Place the hot cookies carefully (they are very delicate in this stage and will crumble at the slightest breath of air!) on a baking tray and allow to cool fully before eating if you can help yourself!


  • Storage: Store in an airtight container for up to 10 days. You can also freeze your shortbreads if you make too many - freeze them flat then once frozen you can put them in a freeze bag or container for more compact storage.
  • Lemon Zest: If you want your biscuits more or less lemony you can use 3tbsp or 1tbsp instead. You can also change the tbsp of boiled water for lemon juice if you are not using saffron.
  • Alternatives: You can substitute the semolina for rice flour or plain flour if you don't have any but the shortbreads will not be as smooth.
  • The equipment section may contain affiliate links to products I know and love


    Calories: 300kcal
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