Grandma’s caramel shortbread

Grandma’s caramel shortbread

By
From
Desserts
Makes
6

It’s not just my gran who should be thanked for this recipe – it’s a chap called Gale Borden who invented condensed milk. While sailing to the UK from the US in the 1850s, the cows in the ship’s hold became too sick to be milked so the supply of fresh milk dried up. Several sailors subsequently died from drinking milk that had been stored onboard for too long and this led to Borden developing condensed milk as we know it.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 x 397g tin of condensed milk
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
150g caster sugar
150g cornflour
300g flour

Method

  1. First, make the caramel. Place the tin of condensed milk in a deep saucepan and cover it with water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cover with a lid. Leave to simmer rapidly for 2 hours (keep an eye on the water level). Allow it to cool completely before you open the tin where you’ll find a golden sticky caramel. (Once cooked, a tin of caramelized condensed milk will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks.)
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 170ºC. Line a 20 x 30cm baking tin with baking parchment.
  3. Cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy. Sift together the flours, then mix with the cream and sugar. Gently knead the dough until it comes together in a firm ball.
  4. Roll out two-thirds of the dough to fit the tin and lay it inside, pressing it neatly into the edges. Spread three-quarters of the condensed milk caramel evenly over the base. Crumble the remaining dough over the top of the caramel.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes. The caramel should bubble up a little between the dough and the top of the shortbread should be golden. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then cut into squares. Finish cooling in the tin.
  6. To serve, re-heat the squares for 5 minutes at 160ºC. Finish with a sprig of fresh mint, a dollop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of the remaining caramel sauce.
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