The simplicity of the little round biscuit belies its history – as it seems that it was created in 1670 and was introduced to the court of Louis XIV. Much enjoyed by the aristocracy the famous Vatel, steward of the Prince Condé made the little shortbread for the Prince for a party and called them sablé biscuits in honour of the Marquise de Sablé who was a great beauty of the time and was present at the serving of the little biscuits.
At least this is what I’ve read – some people think its because they are of a slightly “sandy” texture but I like the more regal story!
100 g butter
100 g sugar
150 g soft flour
1. Chill the flour for 30 minutes in the fridge beforehand. Then rub the flour and cold butter together to make fine breadcrumbs, then mix in the sugar.
2. Beat the egg and pour into the breadcrumbs, then fold it in with a metal spoon to make a light dough.
3. Roll the dough thinly between two sheets of baking paper and pop in the fridge to allow it to chill until hard.
4. Cut the shapes out (round is traditional) and bake in a pre-heated oven at 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3 until they are golden brown.
5. Leave them to cool and dust with icing sugar.