Years ago, shortbread became our staple dessert on nights we didn’t want to dirty up too many dishes. It was quick and simple, flaky and delicious. My roommate even began to buy special shortbread pans where you would press in the dough and when it was cut and flipped out, there would be designs puffed into the top. While the shortbread didn’t always flip as easily as we would have liked, it tasted good all the same.
As I looked at the recipe this week, I was almost aghast. No “pressing” the shortbread dough into the pan? No patting it down to make a lovely even layer? Instead the dough is…grated? You can tell, I was incredibly doubtful about how this would come out. But, I pressed on (no pun intended) and decided we were on board.
Given that there is no rhubarb here, I was trying to come up with a good alternative. With rhubarb being tart, I decided to make a quince jam, thinking the tartness would match the original recipe. But…my quince was watery and never came together as I would have liked. So my next alternative was actually easier – passionfruit jam (from a jar). I adore the pucker-up taste of passionfruit.
The dough was grated, the jam was spread and Hungarian Shortbread was served up.
And the Hungarian Shortbread was eaten up. Seriously…delicious. This was a delicious combination of soft and sweet and I loved every bite. All three bites that I had. My DH seemed to serve himself one after the other until they disappeared. I think these would be a really easy bar to whip up when unexpected company drops by. If I had the dough ready & frozen, I could grate, bake, smear, grate, bake, serve.
- I used less sugar than was called for in the recipe and was completely satisfied by the sweetness.
- I made half the original recipe and baked it in a square glass pan.
- Next time, I will use a bit more jam. Based on the original measurements, I used 1/2 cup of jam, but I think i would enjoy a smidgen more. Maybe a red one. Or maybe, manjar blanco (dulco de leche). Yum.
- I baked the bottom layer for 20 minutes before adding the jam layer. Once the top crust was in place, I baked about 30 more minutes.
- Next time, make more.
Make your own Hungarian Shortbread!