Hungarian Shortbread – Great Make Ahead Dessert!
Alright, things are settling back down so I can get back to making some recipes … from the book that originally inspired me to start this blog!
You can find the recipe for the shortbread in Dorie’s book called Baking with Julia or check out the two hosts of the week who are able to share it.
http://1smallkitchen.blogspot.com/2012/05/tuesdays-with-dorie-hungarian.html or http://crazyworldofcher.blogspot.com/2012/04/on-shoulders-of-those-before-us-twd.html
Let’s get started!
Combine the dry ingredients – flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer, beat the softened unsalted butter until it lightens in color. Then add the sugar and egg yolks until smooth and creamy. Side note – I have read in many magazines about freezing left over whites or yolks for later use. Simple put them into a plastic freezer bag and mark exactly how many yolks or whites are in there. My chef last week told me the break down in weight of the whites, yolks and shell for a large egg … but I can’t remember! Anyone out there know? If you know, then you can weigh out how much you need. Once the mixture is creamy, turn down the speed of the mixer to low and slowly add in the dry ingredients. (I cover my mixer with a towel so the flour doesn’t POUF out all over.) As the flour mixes in, increase the speed until combined.
My silpat was already out, so I set that on the granite and scooped out all the dough onto the silpat. My dough is a bit dry, so I knead it a few times and that pulls it together. I split the dough in half.
Wrap each half tightly with plastic wrap and then freeze. The recipe says to freeze for 30 minutes, but I really should have let it freeze for a few hours or even overnight. I love a recipe where I don’t have to rush to complete it. I have kids and life gets crazy, so it’s nice to be able to take a break if I need to. (unlike a chocolate mousse, where you have to be on top of it!)
Preheat your oven. The recipe suggests using a 9×12 inch pan. Instead, I decide to use my new rectangular tart pan that is my new favorite baking and serving piece! Now, this is where it gets interesting … bring out a grater , (not a microplane) and remove one of the frozen dough balls from the freezer. Over an ungreased tart pan, (your favorite shape pan, 8 inch cake pan etc.) start to grate the dough using the same section of the grater you would use for grating cheese. I fill it enough so I don’t see the bottom of the pan.
I wrap the remaining dough with plastic wrap and place it back in the freezer. Next, I gently used my fingertips to make sure I have pieces along all the edges. I bake for 10 minutes so that layer will be able to “set” and not get soggy when I add the jam.
After the tart came out of the oven, I let it cool for about 10 minutes. The recipe calls for a rhubarb jam. Personally it’s been years since I have tried Rhubarb but it just sounds like an old person jam. So, I decide to pick my favorite, which is CHERRY! I use my small offset spatula to spread on the layer of Cherry preserves. The small offset spatula allows me to get into all the small grooves of my tart pan. I use about ½ cup of the cherry preserves. I have apricot jam in my fridge for when I make homemade croissants (will blog about soon), so I decide to spread on about a 3 inch area of apricot jam so I can try another flavor.
I bring out the remaining dough from the freezer and grate the rest of it on top of the preserves. I use my fingertips to lightly push the grated dough into all the edges.
I bake for 18 minutes until it’s light brown in color.
Then I sprinkle with powder sugar to add to the presentation.
I would never think to make shortbread for a treat, but it is so easy, so delicious and has a nice presentation. Plus it was fun to grate the dough; I have never done that before. Maybe that is how all short bread is made? I also love any recipe that I don’t have to run to the grocery to get even one item. I had everything on hand for this and it didn’t take much time to put it together!
Honestly, this was so good and for those of you who know me … you know I have no self-control. So, I have to wrap it up quickly and freeze it. I, of course, forgot to take a picture of the slice that I had for myself. I was going to … but I ate it too fast! I hope you enjoy this shortbread recipe, too.
If you try this please let me know what you thought about it.
So, I have no self control. I just ran to the freezer and pulled out the tart, I slice off a good size piece, quickly take a photo and then INHALE it. Crap, I don’t think my work out this morning is going to cover the SIZE of the piece I ate. Ahh … tomorrow is a new day!