The idea of making these biscuits came as, what they call, a “happy accident”. I was testing a caramel sauce for another recipe, and I wanted to taste the caramel I had just made to ensure it wasn’t burnt. I grabbed a teaspoon that I forgot I had used earlier to measure some lemon juice and scooped up some of the caramel. To my surprise, the leftover taste of lemon on the spoon paired so well with that of the caramel that I immediately wrote down “Lemon + Caramel something” on a post-it note. For some reason, a pairing in my mind I had never considered. Then I went online, and I found out I was the only one who didn’t know it. A bit like when you find out about Santa.
I started thinking about a different way of using those flavours without adding too many other elements. And then I had another Santa moment: “jammy dodgers”. With a tart lemon jam (yep, not marmalade) and an indulgent salted caramel sauce. Thank you Santa.
It took me “a few” attempts to get the right texture of jam and caramel, as initially they were too runny and kept oozing out of the biscuits at every bite. However, not in a million years I was gonna pop down to the shop to buy a jar of jam and a tin of caramel sauce. I like making my life more complicated, but also more delicious.
And so the story goes, after 25 lemons and a couple packs of sugar, I eventually managed to get the texture and flavour I was looking for, and now these salted caramel and lemon jam sandwich biscuits are just messy enough to make you lick your fingers when they are over. And perfect with a cup of black tea (or on their own). —theItalianbkr
- Prep time 2 hours 45 minutes
- Cook time 45 minutes
- makes 15
cold unsalted butter, chopped
egg yolk (1 large)
glucose syrup (or corn syrup)
- MAKE THE PASTRY (at least two hours before baking) Combine plain flour, corn flour, icing sugar and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and rub into the flour with your fingertips until all dry powder is incorporated and you achieve a crumbly consistency. You can also use a food processor to whiz and incorporate the butter.
- Add the egg yolk to bring the dough together, without kneading to develop the gluten. Flatten to a disk, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least two hours, or ideally overnight.
- MAKE THE LEMON JAM Mix 1 tbsp of the fructose with the pectin to disperse the thin molecules of the pectin and avoid lumps. Pour the lemon juice and remaining sugar in small pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Once it starts boiling, add the pectin mix, stir until dissolved and leave to boil on medium low for two minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to set at room temperature.
- MAKE THE SALTED CARAMEL Pour the water in a medium saucepan, add the sugar and glucose syrup, and bring to a boil over a medium heat. When boiling, wait for the mixture to start turn a nice amber colour, about 5 to 10 minutes. When the caramel is looking amber, but not too dark, remove the pan from the heat and lay it on a heatproof surface. Stir in on third of the cream and whisk promptly to mix and cool down the caramel a bit. Be careful as it will bubble a lot and might splash on your hands. When the bubbling slows down, add the rest of the cream while whisking to achieve a nice and silky sauce.
- Put the pan back on the hob and bring back to the boil on a medium-low heat. Once it boils, mix three tablespoons of the sauce to the corn flour and stir until smooth, then pour back into the pan. Stir a couple of minutes to cook off the flour flavour and thicken to a pipeable consistency. Pour into a bowl, add the salt and briefly stir. Set aside to cool down at room temperature.
- BAKE AND ASSEMBLE THE BISCUITS Pre-heat the oven at 180° C. Take the pastry out of the fridge and let come to room temperature for 15 minutes. Flour the work surface and roll the pastry out to a 5 mm thickness. With a 6 cm cutter, cut out as many discs as you can fit. Re-roll the leftover pastry again to cut more discs, until you have 30 pieces. With 2cm cutter (I used the back of a piping nozzle) stamp and take out a disc in the middle off half the biscuit
- Line a large baking tray with baking parchment and bake the biscuits for 15 minutes. Take them out of the oven and leave to cool and set over a wire rack. In the meanwhile, transfer the salted caramel to a piping bag. Cut a 1cm opening at the front and keep.
- Once biscuits have cooled completely, take the whole ones and spread a layer of lemon jam over each one of them. Then pipe a generous quantity of caramel over the jam, keeping a few mm from the edge of the biscuit. I find that 5 g of jam and 15 g of caramel give the right balance. Dust the 15 biscuit rings with icing sugar and pop them over each of the bases, gently pressing down to even out the caramel. Enjoy with a nice cup of tea or coffee, or on their own. They are equally delish.