Monday, February 25, 2008

Austrian Raspberry Shortbread





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.

10 comments:

liz said...

This looks just scrumptious! I'm still mouthwatering from your Urisawa post. I hope to make a visit there sometime.

Emma said...

wow! those look amazing!

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Erin S. said...

I share your pastry hatred. I love the shredding idea and will have to try it. I agree on the James Beard :)

Tableau Vivante said...

Hm. I'm thinking muffin cups now. Not A Muffin Shortbread.

I love the internet :)

-T. Vivante

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Amrita said...

Hi there dearie!

I just chanced upon your blog while googling macarons, and I have to say, a hilarious post indeed! Have you tried making them again? :o)

Food, she thought. said...

Hey! Where the heck are you these days? I keep checking back waiting for a new post on your eating adventures!

susan said...

shortbreads are my favorite type of cookies! i tried the freeze & grate technique before but i was not as smart as you to use the food processor. i think if i made this i would eat waaay too many of them.

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