I have a confession to make- I hate making shortbread, shortcrust pastry, pâte sucrée….anything with a high butter content that requires rolling out. The key is to chill the dough very well so that the butter will stay cold when you roll it out but I almost always end up handling it too much and getting most of it plastered to my board or counter. I’ve also tried the method of pressing the dough with my fingers into the baking dish, but that almost always results in uneven pastry. I mean, I can make pastry but it not my forte.
So imagine my utter delight when I came across this recipe for Austrian Raspberry Shortbread. At first glance it seemed that the recipe included some sort of grated cheese (?!?!) but upon closer inspection I realized that it was grated frozen shortbread dough. I read on and on and realized that this was the answer to all of my butter-based pastry problems. WHAT A BRILLIANT IDEA! Make the dough, freeze it and then run it through your food processor with the grater attachment and simply pour the grated dough into a pan. Whoever came up with this method should get a freakin’ James Beard Award.
So here’s the step by step:
Cut frozen dough into small enough chunks to fit through the feed tube of your food processor
Grate the frozen dough in food processor
Take half of the grated dough and sprinkle it evenly in a 9 x 13 baking pan lined with parchment or foil
Drizzle 1 cup of raspberry jam over the grated dough (I know I know it looks like ketchup!)
Sprinkle remaining grated dough over the jam and resist every urge to press down - leave it alone!
Golden brown fresh out of the oven...
Sift powdered sugar over the top immediately after taking out of the oven
After letting it cool completely, chill in the fridge for an hour or so which makes it easy to cut the shortbread into clean bars
Box them up and take them to work so you don't end up eating all of the shortbread
This recipe has opened up a whole new world for me. Next time I need to make any shortbread crust or base I will use this method. Since you don't pat down the grated dough, there is a lightness that you don't find in other shortbread, although the pound of butter is definitely obvious. It's one of the most addictive things I think I've ever made. Be warned!
Recipe is here.