Extra Crunchy Fruit Crumble

FOR THE TOPPING:
1 1/2 cups/190 grams all-purpose flour
1/2 cup/50 grams rolled oats
1/3 cup/75 grams light or dark brown sugar
1/3 cup/65 grams granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom, ginger or allspice, or use lemon zest
1/2 cup/115 grams unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and cooled

FOR THE FILLING:
2 to 5 tablespoon light brown sugar (or granulated sugar), depending on the sweetness of the fruit
2 tablespoons cornstarch
8 cups mixed berries (fresh or frozen), or cubed peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, or pitted sweet cherries (or a combination)
Ice cream or whipped cream, for serving

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Make the topping: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, sugars, salt and spices. Stir in butter. Using your hands, squish mixture until coarse crumbs form. Some should be about 1/2-inch in size, some smaller.

Spread topping in one layer onto a rimmed baking sheet. (You don’t have to grease it first.) Bake until crumbs are solid when you gently poke them, and are fragrant, about 15 minutes. They won’t change appearance very much. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack to cool while you make the filling. (Crumbs can be baked up to 2 days ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.)
Prepare the filling: In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and cornstarch until well combined. Add fruit and gently toss to coat with the sugar mixture. Pour filling into an ungreased 2-quart gratin dish or 10-inch cake pan, mounding the fruit in the center.

Spoon crumbs over filling and place the crumble dish on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any overflowing juices. (You can use the same baking sheet you cooked the crumbs on.) Bake until filling bubbles energetically around the edges, about 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream or whipped cream, if you like. Crumble can be made up to 8 hours ahead and kept at room temperature, or warmed up briefly in a 350-degree oven.

All-Purpose Chinese Brown Sauce

1 1/2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable or mushroom stock; 350ml)
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon brown sugar (or granulated sugar)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce (can sub gluten-free soy sauce or tamari)
1 1/2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce (or vegetarian or gluten-free oyster sauce)
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a jar with a tight lid (must hold 2 cups of liquid), combine all of the stir fry sauce ingredients together and shake well.

This sauce should keep for a few weeks in the refrigerator; all you need to do is measure and pour out what you need for your dish. Makes enough sauce for about 3 dishes.

Whether you have carrots, peppers, onions, celery, snow peas, snap peas, bean sprouts, bok choy, etc. left over or readily available in your fridge, you can use any combination you like. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full ingredients list and recipe!

HOW TO USE THIS STIR-FRY SAUCE:

MARINATE YOUR PROTEIN: Marinate 12 ounces of sliced beef, chicken or pork with:

2 tablespoons water
A pinch or more of baking soda (for beef only)
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2. PREPARE AROMATICS:

I like to cut my aromatics fresh, so I will mince 3 cloves of garlic, grate a teaspoon of ginger, and perhaps slice 1 or 2 scallions into 2-inch lengths if I have some.

SLICE VEGETABLES: I’ll prepare the vegetables ahead of time, slicing celery, carrots, bell peppers, snow peas, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, and/or broccoli. Use whatever you like and make sure to cut the vegetables small/thinly enough so that they’ll cook quickly (i.e. a couple of minutes).

PREPARE YOUR THICKENER: 2 tablespoons water mixed with 2 tablespoons cornstarch.

SEAR MEAT: Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to your hot wok (it should be almost smoking). Add the meat, sear on both sides, and set aside.

Add another tablespoon of oil and add the garlic and ginger. (If you also sliced scallions, you can add the white parts of the scallion at this stage.)

After a few seconds, add the vegetables and stir fry for 1 minute or until just softened.

Add about 2/3 cup of stir fry sauce (more or less depending on how much sauce you like), and heat until simmering.

And add in the seared meat.

Bring to a boil and stir in the cornstarch slurry until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon (you may need a little more or a little less cornstarch slurry depending on how much sauce you added and how high your heat is). Add the green parts of your scallions (if using), and cook for another 15 to 20 seconds.

All-Purpose Chinese White Sauce

For the Chinese white sauce:
3 cups stock (chicken stock, pork stock or vegetable stock, 540 ml)
3 cloves garlic (finely minced or grated)
3/4 teaspoon ginger (grated)
1 teaspoon scallion (white part only, minced)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt (to taste)
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
3/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoon oyster sauce (or vegetarian oyster sauce)
1 teaspoon MSG (totally optional!)

Pour chicken, pork or vegetable stock into a resealable glass jar. It’s best to use home-made stock but you can use store-bought as well. If you use store-bought prepared stock, try to use a pure stock without any other flavorings added (herbs, spices, etc.), as usually store-bought stocks are usually made for western cooking.

Next, add the garlic, ginger, and scallion whites. It’s best if these aromatics are very finely minced. Add, salt, sugar, white pepper, sesame oil, oyster sauce (or vegetarian oyster sauce), and MSG if using.

Seal, and shake well to combine. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Shake before using. Makes enough sauce for 4-6 dishes.

To make a stir-fry:
8 ounces meat of your choice (225g, pork, chicken, or beef; thinly sliced ¼ inch thick)
3 cups mixed vegetables (bell pepper, mushrooms, celery, carrots, snow peas, snap peas, broccoli/broccolini, cauliflower, bamboo shoots, lotus root, etc.)
1/2 cup firm tofu (cubed, optional)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1/2 – 3/4 cup prepared Chinese white sauce (depending upon how much sauce you like)
1 tablespoon cornstarch (mixed with 1 tablespoon water; you may need a little more or less, depending upon how much sauce you use and how thick you like it)

Take your sliced meat, and velvet it using our method for velveting beef, velveting chicken, or velveting pork.

Bring 4 to 6 cups of water to a boil, and blanch the vegetables and tofu for 30 to 60 seconds. Drain thoroughly and set aside. (Blanch in 2 batches if you have lots of vegetables, or if vegetables require different cooking times. Dense vegetables like carrots will take a little longer than snap peas, for example).

Heat your wok over high heat until it just starts to smoke. Use 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to evenly coat the wok. Spread the velveted meat in the wok in one layer. Sear for 30 seconds on each side. Remove from the wok and set aside. Note, instead of searing the meat, you can also blanch it; just reduce oil to 1 tablespoon for stir-frying.

Next, without washing the wok, reheat your wok over high heat, and add the blanched vegetables and Shaoxing wine. Stir everything together, and add the meat.

Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of your white stir-fry sauce, and stir-fry everything together to deglaze the wok. Keep cooking until the sauce comes to a full simmer.

Mix the cornstarch and water into a slurry. Move the pork and vegetables to the sides of the wok. There should be a little well of sauce/liquid at the center of the wok. Pour the cornstarch slurry into the liquid, stirring constantly, until thickened.

Give everything a final stir. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed. Plate and serve over steamed rice.

Basic Baked Chicken Breasts

INGREDIENTS
1 lb. skinless and boneless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 – 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt or more to taste
3 dashes ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat oven to 400° F. Pat dry the boneless chicken breasts with paper towels. Score the bottom of the chicken.

Drizzle the olive oil on the chicken, add the minced garlic and rub all over the chicken breasts.

Add honey, smoked paprika, lemon juice, salt and ground black pepper to the chicken. Stir to combine well with the chicken. Set aside and marinate for 15 minutes.

Transfer the chicken breasts to a baking dish lined with parchment paper. Bake at for 15-18 minutes, or until the inside of the chicken breasts are cooked through.

Change the oven setting to Broil and broil the chicken for 1 – 2 minutes or until the surface becomes slightly charred. Remove from oven, top with chopped parsley and serve immediately with fresh lemon wedges. (DO NOT discard the juice seeping out of the chicken. Serve the chicken with the juice.)

Sri Lankan Roasted Curry Powder

4 Tbsp coriander seeds
3 Tbsp cumin seeds
2 Tbsp black peppercorns
2 Tbsp basmati rice
1 Tbsp black mustard seeds
3 tsp whole cloves
2 tsp green cardamom seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds

Place the rice in a non-stick pan.

Heat over medium heat until the rice starts to turn light brown.

Add the rest of the spices and roast for few more minutes until the spices start to become aromatic. Keep moving the pan to prevent the spices from burning.

Remove from the heat and let the spices cool down.

Once cool, use a spice grinder (or a mortar and pestle) to grind the spice mix into a powder.

Store in an air tight container.

Cantonese Ginger Scallion Oil

Ingredients
2 scallions (must have white parts, 50g)
10 thin slices fresh ginger (20g)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (120 ml)
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
light soy sauce (to taste; OPTIONAL)
Instructions
Wash the scallions and pat them thoroughly dry. Thinly slice them into rounds, and then use your knife to mince them further.
Next, slice 10 rounds of ginger very thinly. Julienne them into matchsticks and mince them finely. (These steps could be done with a food processor.)
Combine the scallion, ginger, oil, and salt in a bowl. Mix thoroughly, and it’s ready to serve!

Notes:

HERE’S HOW YOU CAN USE IT:

As a condiment to chicken or any meat of your choice – poached, pan-fried, or even grilled

As a dip for tofu, for our vegans out there

In cold noodles

As a flavoring or topping for leafy green vegetable stir-fries

Over plain rice with a fried egg, or fried rice!

If we are enjoying poached chicken (bai qie ji), we split it into two small bowls, and add light soy sauce to one of them to taste.

Strawberry Freezer Jam

1 box of Pomona’s Pectin
4-5 cups pureed or crushed strawberries, (about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds), crushed or pureed to desired consistency
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (or honey)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cups boiling water

Take out the small white packet of calcium powder and measure 1/4 teaspoon into a jar or container with a lid. Pour in 1/4 cup water. Shake well; set aside. The rest of the dry calcium powder can be stored indefinitely for later use.

Add the sugar and lemon juice to the strawberries and stir well.

In a blender, combine the boiling water and 1 tablespoon of pectin (in the large white packet). Process until smooth.

Add the warm pectin mixture to the strawberries and mix to combine. The mixture will start to jell and thicken.

Shake the calcium water to recombine and measure out 4 teaspoons; add to the jam. Stir well. (Extra calcium water can be discarded or stored in the refrigerator for months.)

Portion the jam into containers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Seal with a lid. Store in the freezer (for up to a year) or in the refrigerator (for several weeks).

NOTES
Pectin: this recipe has only been tested and made using Pomona’s Pectin; other brands of pectin will not work the same in this recipe.

Sweetener: half sugar/half honey is delicious. And speaking of sweetener, you can cut the sugar down even more if you like, the minimum being 3/4 cup sugar or 1/2 cup honey.

Following the Recipe: you’ll have leftover pectin and calcium powder, simply fold down the tops of the packet or place in a small bag and store it in the Pomona’s box to use later. It won’t spoil. One box of Pomona’s Pectin will make three batches of the recipe below (so about 8-9 pints of jam, depending on amount of sweetener used).

Doubling: this recipe can be doubled.

Basic Sweet and Sour Sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch (about 1/4 ounce; 7g)
1 tablespoon (15ml) water
2/3 cup (160ml) pineapple juice
1/3 cup (80ml) rice vinegar
1/3 cup (74g) light brown sugar
3 tablespoons (45ml) ketchup
1 tablespoon (15ml) soy sauce

In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and water. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine pineapple juice, rice vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, and soy sauce and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in cornstarch slurry and cook until thickened, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Tips for Using the Electric Grill

Panini
Grill, 375 – 400, closed.
Grill 7 minutes.

Chicken Breasts
Grill, 400, closed.
Pound to even thickness of no more than 1 inch.
Grill 7 – 9 minutes.

Burgers
Grill, 450, open or closed.
Grill 4 – 8 minutes closed or 5 – 6 minutes per side open.

Boneless Steaks – option 1
Grill, Sear 450, closed.
Sear for 2 minutes. Grill will revert to 425.
Grill 2-10 minutes. Rest for 5 minutes.

Boneless Steaks – option 2
Grill, 450, open.
Cut to no more than 2 inches thick.
Cook 4 – 6 minutes per side. Rest for 5 minutes.

Skirt Steak
Grill, 450, open.
Grill 6 minutes on first side and 4 – 5 minutes on other side.

Meat and Vegetable Kebabs
Grill, 425, closed.
Grill 5-6 minutes.

Pork Chops
Grill, 400, closed.
Cut to no more than 1 inch thick.
Grill 10 minutes.

Fish Steaks
Grill, 400, closed.
Cut to no more than 2 inches thick.
Grill 10 – 15 minutes.

Quesadillas
Griddle, 375 – 400, closed.
Grill 3 – 3 1/2 minures.

Grilled Mixed Vegetables
Grill, 400 – 425, closed.
Grill peppers for 8 minutes, zucchini for 5 minutes, eggplant for 6-8 minutes, red onion for 5 minutes, and asparagus for 3-4 minutes.
(For salad, with olive oil, lemon juice, ricotta salata, Kalamata olives, and basil.)

Grilled Peaches
Grill, 400, closed.
Once heated, grill for 8 minutes.
(Toss with burrata, prosciutto, arugula, and balsamic vinegar for salad.)

Grilled Pineapple
Grill, 375, closed.
Toss pineapple with sugar. Once heated, grill 8 minutes.

French Toast
Griddle, 350, open.
Cook 3 1/2 – 4 minutes per side.

Pancakes
Griddle, 350, open.
Pour quarter cup portions. Cook 4-5 minutes one side, flip, and cook 3 minutes more.

Waffles
Griddle, 400, closed.
Pour about 1 1/4 cups batter and spread with a spatula. Cook about 3 minutes.

Arrowhead Mills buttermilk waffle and pancake mix
For waffles, combine:
1 cup of mix
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon honey
2/3 cup of milk or water
(Makes exactly enough to cover the waffle iron.)

For pancakes, combine:
1 cup of mix
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup of milk or water
Cook on a 375-400 griddle
(Makes 8 5-inch pancakes)

Bob’s Red Mill buttermilk waffle and pancake mix
For waffles, combine:
1 cup of mix
1 egg
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup of water
(Makes exactly enough to cover the waffle iron.)

For pancakes, combine:
1 cup of mix
1 tablespoon oil
1 egg
3/4 cup of water
Cook on a 375-400 griddle 2-3 minutes per side
(Makes 8 5-inch pancakes)

Panch Phoran

Ingredients
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon nigella seeds (also called black cumin or kalonji)
1 1/2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds

Combine the seeds in a small bowl. Store in an airtight container.
Depending on what kind of dish you make with these seeds, they can either be fried briefly in oil or dry roasted to coax out their rich flavors.

Crispy Tofu

If you’ve had really great tofu, you know that it is a complete game-changer: perfectly golden on the outside, wildly soft and spongey on the inside, with the most amazing ability to soak up the sauce without getting soggy. It feels like a tiny miracle — and you can 100% make it at home.

There are a few tricks to perfect tofu. First, tossing cubed tofu with cornstarch will help you get a crispier exterior when baking or stir-frying. Pressing the block of tofu to eliminate excess moisture also helps. And you’ll want to make sure you’re using high enough heat. However, there is one trick that basically guarantees success.

The key to getting restaurant-style tofu texture at home is your freezer. Yes, freezing tofu is the very best strategy for cooking up perfectly soft, chewy tofu that soaks up sauce like a sponge.

As mentioned above, pressing tofu is essential for removing liquid. But no matter how long you press that block of tofu or how much weight you pile on top, it still seems to hold onto a lot of water. When you freeze the tofu overnight, and then thaw it at room temperature, all of the water basically pours right out — no extra pressing necessary.

While you can freeze any variety of tofu, extra-firm is the best option when you want to replicate the texture of the tofu from your favorite Chinese place. First, you’ll want to cut the tofu. Take your pick between cutting it into cubes, triangles, slabs, or just tearing it into pieces. Place the tofu pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Then store in a freezer bag or container until you’re ready to use. Thaw the tofu at room temperature before cooking.

Game-Changing Crispy Topping

3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup fresh coarse or panko bread crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, plus more for serving

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add bread crumbs and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re evenly toasted and golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add cup pecorino and toss to coat, letting the cheese melt and clump among the bread crumbs (think granola-like clusters).

Remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl or plate. Use on mac and cheese or anything that needs a crispy topping.

Magic Spice Blend

1/3 cup dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons smoked paprika (you can use regular sweet paprika if you don’t like the taste of smoked)
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon celery seed, crushed in the palm of your hand

Spoon all of the ingredients into a Mason jar and shake. I like to keep this by my stove to sprinkle over everything: soft-boiled eggs, sliced cucumbers, chicken, pork chops, and especially ribs.

Ultimate Chili Oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 garlic cloves, grated
1/2 cup (50 g) Sichuan (spicier) or Korean (milder) chile flakes
1 star anise pod
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
2 cups (480 mL) canola oil
3 tablespoons white sesame seeds
2 dried bay leaves
2 tablespoons finely ground Sichuan peppercorns

Mix the soy sauce and grated garlic together. Set aside.

Using a spice grinder, grind the chile flakes, star anise pod, coriander, cumin, and curry powder into a fine powder. In a large saucepan at least 6 inches (15 cm) deep, combine the spice powder with the oil, sesame seeds, and bay leaves. Set it over medium heat and bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until the chile flakes have turned maroon in color (but not black!).

When the chile flakes have turned to the desired color, turn off the heat immediately, then add the ground Sichuan peppercorns. Stir and let fry in the residual heat for about 30 seconds, then add the soy sauce/garlic mixture. The oil will boil up a little due to the added moisture (which is why we’re using a deep pot). Just keep stirring until the sizzling has died down.

Let the chile oil sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours (or best overnight) before using. Keep in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 3 months.

Burmese Shallot (or Garlic) Oil

1 cup peanut oil
2 cups (about 1/2 pound) thinly sliced Asian or European shallots

Place a wide heavy skillet or a large stable wok over medium-high heat and add the oil. Toss in a slice of shallot. As the oil heats, it will rise to the surface, sizzling lightly. When it’s reached the surface, add the rest of the shallots (carefully!), and lower the heat to medium. (The shallots may seem crowded, but they’ll shrink as they cook.)

Stir gently and frequently with a long-handled wooden spoon or a spider. The shallots will bubble as they give off their moisture. If they start to brown early, in the first 5 minutes, lower the heat a little more.

“After about 10 minutes, they should start to color. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally to prevent them from sticking to the pan or to each other, until they have turned a golden brown, another 3 minutes or so.

Line a plate with paper towels. Use tongs or a spider to lift a clump of fried shallots out of the oil, pausing for a moment to shake off excess oil into the pan, then place on the paper towel. Turn off the heat, transfer the remaining shallots to the plate, and blot gently with another paper towel. Separate any clumps and toss them a little, then let them air-dry 5 to 10 minutes, so they crisp up and cool. (If your kitchen is very hot and humid, they may not crisp up; don’t worry, the flavor will still be there.)

Transfer the shallots to a clean, dry, widemouthed glass jar. Once they have cooled completely, seal tightly. Transfer the oil to another clean dry jar, using all but the very last of it, which will have some stray pieces of shallot debris. (You can set that oil aside for stir-frying.) Once the oil has cooled completely, cover tightly, and store in a cool dark place.

You can use a similar technique to make garlic oil, but slice the garlic thicker (a scant ¼ inch), rather than into thin slices, since it cooks much more quickly than shallots. Heat ½ cup peanut oil over medium-high heat, add ? cup or so sliced garlic, and fry over medium heat until just golden, about 5 minutes. Lift out the garlic and set aside to crisp up. Store the oil as above. Fried garlic does not keep as well as fried shallots; refrigerate and use within 5 days.

Pressure Cooker Polenta

1 cup (173 grams) coarse polenta
4 1/2 cups cups (1,023 grams) water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Bonuses (optional):
1/2 to 1 cups grated or crumbled cheese (such as sharp cheddar, Parmesan, pecorino, Gouda, blue), for stirring in and sprinkling on top.
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, for stirring in and sprinkling on top, or another ground spice to taste
Fresh herbs (such as minced chives, thyme leaves, finely chopped sage, or roughly chopped parsley), for stirring in and/or sprinkling on top.

Combine the polenta, water, and salt in the Instant Pot and whisk. Secure the lid and adjust the pressure release to Sealing. Pressure cook on High for 15 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for about 10 minutes, then carefully move the pressure release to Venting.

Whisk the polenta to smooth out, then add the butter and whisk again until incorporated. At this point, you can stir in any cheese or spices, and adjust the salt to taste. You can also close the lid and use the Keep Warm feature until you’re ready to serve.

When you are ready to serve, ladle into bowls or onto plates, then sprinkle with any additional cheese, spices, or herbs.

Classic Panna Cotta

2 (1/4-oz.) envelope unflavored gelatin (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
3 tablespoons cold water
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean pod, split
2 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
5 tablespoons apricot jam, peach preserves, or orange marmalade, warmed

Sprinkle gelatin over 3 tablespoons cold water, and let stand 5 minutes to dissolve, stirring once. Meanwhile, heat milk and sugar in a small saucepan over medium. Cook, whisking often, until sugar dissolves and mixture is hot, about 5 minutes (do not boil). Remove from heat; whisk in gelatin mixture until fully dissolved. Let cool slightly, whisking occasionally, about 10 minutes. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean pod into gelatin mixture; discard pod. Gently whisk in buttermilk and salt.

Divide mixture evenly among 8 (12-ounce) straight-sided glasses (about 1/2 cup each). Cover and chill until set, at least 8 hours or up to overnight. Serve in glasses or invert onto serving plates. Spoon about 2 teaspoons jam or marmalade on each serving.

Shortbread

16 tablespoons (2 sticks/226 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup (113 grams) granulated sugar
1 2/3 cups (226 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (113 grams) semolina
2 tablespoons demerara sugar

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees with a rack in the middle position. Have ready a 9-by-13 baking pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on low speed just until combined. (You’re only looking to incorporate them, not add a lot of air to the mixture.) Alternately, you can use a handheld mixer or even a wooden spoon in a large bowl. Stir in the flour and semolina on low speed until combined. The dough won’t come together into a cohesive mass, so don’t be surprised if it’s crumbly. Clumps, however, should form when pressed together between your fingers. You can briefly knead the dough by hand, if needed.

Press the mixture into the pan, level and smooth the top using the bottom of a dry measuring cup or the back of a spoon. Sprinkle with the demerara sugar, and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes until pale golden brown.

Remove from the oven and let the pan cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. With the tip of a sharp knife, score the slab to form 24 triangles (we accomplished this with three rows of four squares that we then cut in half). Let the shortbread cool completely in the pan before lifting the pieces out.

Note: Mary Berry mixes the all-purpose flour with semolina, a coarse flour you often find in pizza or pasta, for extra crunch. For an even more melt-away mouthfeel, swap in equal amounts of cornstarch or rice flour for the semolina. Prefer only flour? That’s fine, too. Whatever you use, be sure not to overwork the mixture, as it will create too much gluten and toughen the dough.

Make Ahead: The shortbread will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.