If you've been reading my blog for awhile now you might just be realizing that I'm quite smitten with shortbread. Just last week I blogged about Salted Toffee Shortbread Cookies and then there was the Lemon Grass Lemon Tart with Coconut Shortbread Crust . Even when my sister Annie was a guest blogger she featured a Coconut Macaroon Tart with ....... you guess it...... a Shortbread Crust (maybe it's a genetic problem)! And now another shortbread recipe? Yes siree....... you're right, I do have a definite fondness for all things shortbread and this fabulous recipe is no exception.
I found this newest shortbread concoction in a wonderful cookbook that I've recently discovered, Butter Sugar Flour Eggs. This sweet little recipe book is one of the finest dessert cookbooks I have come across in a long time. The authors Gale Gand and Rick Tramonto have worked together in some of the most famous kitchens across both the United States and Europe. Their cookbook boasts a plethora of wonderful, unique and beautiful looking desserts. You would have laughed had you been a fly on the wall this last week hearing me squealing in delight as I paged through this awesome book!
I actually first saw their Austrian Shortbread recipe years ago in Gourmet Magazine. I was intrigued with the interesting yet simple technique involved in achieving an extremely light textured shortbread (see recipe). I originally made it just as the recipe specifies layering raspberry jam between the two layers, but recently decided to try a less sweet and simpler version, using fresh fruit mixed with a bit of sugar, flour and lemon. Both versions are delicious but with fresh fruit so abundant and beautiful at the moment, I opted for this blueberry/raspberry rendition today...and no one seemed to complain!!
Austrian Raspberry/Blueberry Shortbread
1 ¾ sticks butter, or 7 ounces, slightly softened
2 egg yolks
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cups fresh blueberries
½ cup fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
1. Cream the butter in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer) until soft and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and mix well.
2. Mix the granulated sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add to the butter and egg yolk mixture and mix just until incorporated and the dough starts to come together. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and form into two balls. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and freeze at least 2 hours or overnight (or as long as a month, if you like).
3. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 8x8 or 9x9 square baking pan or a 10-inch tart pan with removable bottom. (I use Baker's Joy spray)
4. Remove one ball of dough from the freezer and coarsely grate it by hand or with the grating disk in a food processor into the bottom of the greased baking pan (or tart pan). Make sure the surface is covered evenly with shreds of dough.
5. Gently mix the blueberries, raspberries and the lemon juice in a medium bowl. Mix sugar, flour, lemon zest in a small bowl until combined, then add to blueberry/raspberry mixture and mix gently with your hand to coat the berries with the flour mixture.
6. Cover the bottom layer of dough with the blueberry mixture as evenly as possible, gently pressing the berries into the dough. Remove the remaining dough from the freezer and coarsely grate it over the entire surface. (I grate this second ball of dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, then sprinkle over the berries.)
7. Place in oven and cover lightly with foil, bake for 20 minutes, then remove foil. Continue baking until lightly golden brown and the center no longer wiggles, about 20-30 minutes longer. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
8. After the shortbread is cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired or drizzle with lemon glaze. For lemon glaze, mix 1/2 cup powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Add enough milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, to thin out to thick drizzling consistency.
9. Cool on a wire rack, then cut in the pan with a serrated knife. Chilling the pan in the fridge makes it a lot easier to get clean cuts.