The Hungarians call this Omlos Teasutemeny (oom-loosh TAY-ahsh-soo-teh-men-ee) which I still can't pronounce even with the phonetic spelling! The Czechs have a version called Cukrovi that includes nuts in the jam filling. True Scottish shortbread is made with only butter, flour, and sugar ... no eggs. But none of that matters 'cause this jam-filled treat is addictively declicious!
I figured with dough this rich I needed to keep the filling on the tart side. So, for the rhubarb jam, I cut the sugar down by 2 tablespoons, added 1/2 c. chopped strawberries for color and pectin, and a handful of chopped candied ginger for some zing. Because I couldn't find fresh rhubarb and had to use frozen, I reduced the 1/2 c. water to 1/4 c. The jam was a little loose after cooking, but it thickened up after a day in the refrigerator.
|Rhubarb jam with the addition of strawberries and candied ginger.|
The dough came together beautifully in the stand mixer and after a day in the freezer, it grated easily. What a unique technique -- grating frozen dough! I used 1/2 the dough divided again, and substituted a 10" springform pan for the oblong. I think a 10' tart pan with a removable bottom would have worked just as well. This means I have 1/2 the dough to make this again soon...and until then I am dreaming up all kinds of fillings like this one. For a little history on where Gale Gand got the recipe visit Epicurious here. It looks like this recipe started out as Lydia's Austrian Raspberry Shortbread. Check out Lotte + Doof's version here.
|Preparing for the oven in a springform pan|
|Ready to bake|
HUNGARIAN SHORTBREAD - From Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan
1 lb. rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
1/2 vanilla bean
Place the rhubarb, sugar, and water in a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean, scrape the soft, pulpy seeds into the pan, and toss in the pod. Bring to a simmer over low heat, and cook, stirring often, until the rhubarb softens and almost seems to melt. The cooking time will depend on the rhubarb, but it probably won't be more than 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, retrieve the vanilla bean and discard (or save, rinse, dry, and use to flavor sugar). If using the candied ginger, eliminate the vanilla bean.
4 c. all purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
4 sticks (1 lb.) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 large egg yolks
2 c. granulated sugar
Confectioner's sugar, for dusting
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl and set aside. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a hand-held mixer), beat the butter on high speed until it is pale and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and sugar and beat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is light. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing only until the ingredients are incoporated.
Turn the dough out onto your work surface and cut in half. Shape each half into a ball and wrap each ball in plastic. Freeze the dough for about 30 minutes until firm. You can freeze the dough, tightly wrapped, for up to a month at this point. Thaw overnight, still wrapped, in the refrigerator.
Assembling and baking: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Remove one ball of dough from the freezer and, using the side of a box grater with the largest holes, grate the dough into a 9 x 12 inch baking pan. Pat the dough gently just to get it into the corners (you don't want to press it down) and spread with the rhubarb jam. Grate the remaining dough over the jam and press it lightly to distribute evenly. Bake the shortbread for abut 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Dust with confectioner's sugar after cooling completely.
Visit my co-host Cher at The not so exciting adventueres of a dabbler for her version of Hugarian Shortbread and check out the TWD-BWJ blog roll here to see the other bakers' creative takes on this delicious confection.