discovering a simpiler life

discovering a simpiler life

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

grated plum shortbread slice

I love going to our local library and borrowing cookbooks - I read them before bed, I read them over breakfast and although I may not always make much from them all, something about the glossy print and food porn appeals to me.  

Lately my muse has been baking cookbooks and I stumbled across the hairy bikers big book of baking which is packed full with recipes from around Europe. Imagine fruity, cheesy, nutty, bready delights and you will get the picture.

One recipe that intrigued me was their Easy shortbread squares.  It calls for you to make the shortbread dough, split it in half, freeze then grate to create the slice - I had to try it out.  My additions to the recipe are in the brackets.
Easy shortbread slice by the Hairy Bikers - from their big book of baking.
Makes 12 squares
This is a cheat's version of linzer torte - the classic Austrian lattice-topped tart. It's perfect if you're not very confident with pastry and you want a really easy treat as there is no rolling involved - just grating.  Watch your fingers though! You'll need a 20cm loose based square cake tin. (I used just a normal 20cmx20cm square cake tin)

Ingredients
225g butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
200g golden caster sugar (I used plain sugar)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks
275g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
300g seedless raspberry jam (I used homemade plum jam)
1 tbsp icing sugar ( I didn't use)

Method
  1. Using an electric hand-whisk, beat the butter with the sugar and vanilla extract until pale and fluffy.  Beat in the egg yolks 1 at a time, then sift the flour and baking pwoder on top.  Beat the dough with a wooden spoon until it is smooth and light, then divide it into 2 equal portions and form them into balls.  Wrap the balls of dough in clingfilm and freeze for 2-3 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170c/fan150c/gas3 1/2.  Grease a 20cm square cake tin with butter and lin the base with baking parchment. (I use cooking spray instead of greasing and line the whole tin).  Put the jam in a small saucepan and warm it over a low heat until fairly runny, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remover a ball of dough from the freezer and coarsely grate it on to a board, making sure it doesn't become too compacted.  Tip the grated dough from the board into the prepared tin and scatter it evenly with your fingertips.  Whatever you do, don't press the dough into the tin - needs to remain in strands.  (this is a work out let me tell you now!! hard graft)
  4. Using a dessert spoon, drizzle the jam over the grated shortbread (I let the jam cool somewhat before doing this), but do not spread it.  Take the other ball of dough out of the freezer and grate it coarsely on to the board. Sprinkle it evenly over the jam, again resisting the temptation to press it down.
  5. Bake the shortbread for 40-50 minutes or until pale golden borown and set, then remove it from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.  Loosen the sides of the shortbread with a round-bladed knife and carefully take it out of the tin. (I just left mine to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then lifted it out using the overhang of the parchment)  Peel off the lining paper if necessary.  Dust the shortbread with sifted icing sugar and cut in into squares to serve.  (I actually didn't even see this when I made it so didn't do it!!)









I'm heading back to flick through it one last time before it's due back as there's so many more recipes I'm keen to try!

Ciao, Jan x 

p.s. I am not being paid nor do I have my arm twisted to say these words about the hairy bikers :)




15 comments :

  1. I have heard of that hairy bikers cookbook and it sounds like it has some amazing recipes. I do love the look of your plum and shortbread slice. The layers are lovely xx

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    1. It's well worth a look Charlie - I'm considering buying it there are so many recipes I want to try :)

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  2. Hi, I have just recently found your blog and have enjoyed reading through. Your shortbread slice looks so good especially with the plum added, I love anything with plums!

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    1. Hi Sharon, thanks for stopping by, I'm glad you are enjoying my blog :)

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  3. Wow I've never seen dough grated like that! Only butter grated into flour. Such a fascinating method! :D I've only done Linzer with rolled dough too. Love learning these new methods-thanks Jan! x

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  4. Nice one Jan! Absolutely perfect with a cup of tea :)

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  5. Just love this!! It's given me a great idea. Thanks for visiting your local library. I should try ours. I'm commenting from my mobile as this is signed into Google, so Captcha should not be involved xx

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  6. This looks delicious, Jan. I love going thru cookbooks too.
    I'm sorry I didn't get back to you regarding my cabinets. I had brochitis and an eye infection and wasn't able to use the computer. My kitchen cabinets are the same top and bottom. White doors with sort of an inset running around the border. At some point I might switch to glass on a few of them.

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    1. Oh Susan so sorry to hear you haven't been well - thanks for that, I'm still undecided but like the idea of the glass too...you take care xxx

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  7. i love the hairy bikers tho i guess they wouldn't make many baked goods now they are all into dieting and healthy food:) this looks delish! and yes i read cookbooks at bedtime too.

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  8. I read the title and wondered how you grated a plum and had to come and find out. Who knew you could make a shortbread like these? Those guys think outside the square.

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    1. haha it's curious isn't it Maureen!!! But worth it :)

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  9. have never tried a topping like this - love the idea of grating! Looks perfect with a cuppa and a sunny spot to read a book.

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  10. Hi Jan! I love this shortbread of yours! And I also love the idea of grating! Thanks for the heads up! :)

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