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    Parmesan Sables

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    Parmesan Sables

    These savoury little biscuits are the perfect accompaniment to Christmas apéritifs. For a saltier, fishy alternative, substitute the chilli here for anchovies – use a drained 25g tin.

    • Christmas
    • Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus 30 minutes chilling or freezing
    • Cooking time: 10 minutes to 14 minutes
    • Total time: 30 - 34 minutes, plus cooling 60 minutes 5 minutes

    Makes: 32

    Ingredients

    1 large fresh red chilli
    150g plain flour
    140g parmesan, freshly grated
    140g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
    A pinch cayenne pepper
    1 egg, beaten
    1 tbsp sesame seeds
    1 tbsp poppy seeds

    Method

    1. Char the skin of the red chilli over a flame, then put in a bowl under clingfilm to cool.
    2. When the chilli is cool, peel, seed and finely chop. Put the flour, Parmesan, butter and cayenne pepper in a food processor and pulse to crumbs. Then add the chilli (or anchovies, chopped, if using) and 1–2 tbsp cold water and pulse until the mixture just coheres.
    3. Remove and roll into two logs about 5cm wide.
    4. Brush each with beaten egg and roll each in a different type of seed, till coated evenly.
    5. Wrap in clingfilm and either chill for 30 minutes or freeze for up to 1 month.
    6. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Using a sharp knife, cut each chilled or frozen log into 16 biscuits 5mm-thick, to make 32 in total. Place them on 2 large, non-stick or greased baking trays, slightly spaced. Bake for 10–14 minutes (depending on whether you’re cooking from chilled or frozen), until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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    Drinks recommendation

    Here’s a dish where the aperitif theme could happily play on as you begin to eat. It being Christmas, a glass of champagne never goes amiss.

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    4 stars