I'm glad this was the recipe we had to do this week, because honestly, I almost forgot about it. This weekend wasn't particularly warm, but it was sunny so we hopped in the car and spent our time roaming around the city, exploring places and neighborhoods. One of the spots we found ourselves in was a store called Quincaillerie Dante which is... odd, to say the least. It's a small corner store in the Little Italy neighborhood of Montreal that is, apparently, a neighborhood institution, but that I had never heard of until recently. Upon walking in the door, you're greeted with a staggering array of cookware and gadgets and it seems like a normal little high-end kitchen shop... that is, until you walk a little further in. The back half of the shop isn't stocked with more espresso machines or Le Creuset pots, but rather with rows of rifles, hand guns and ammunition. Seriously. You can treat yourself to a set of All-Clad cookware and stock up on cartridges for your Beretta. *blinkblink* How... convenient? So we wandered around and I found something I've been hunting for for a long time... an uzi! Just kidding. Weck canning jars!!! I may have gasped out loud when I saw them. They're rather pricey here in Canada, if you can find them, so I only got a few of them, but needless to say it was the highlight of my weekend. Hee!
So once we had found our way back home, I realized I still had the shortbread to make. This was, thankfully, a simple recipe (found here and here) that I had everything on hand for, except for the rhubarb. Unfortunately, rhubarb has not put in an appearance at the markets around here yet, so I'd have to make do with preserves I had on hand. I decided to use up my last jar of Strawberry, Balsamic and Black Pepper jam, as I wanted to stay away from anything to overly sweet. Turned out to be a very good decision... it was just sweet enough to be dessert-y, while also being a little bit tangy/savoury.
The recipe came together super easily... the only vaguely difficult bit was working the flour into the butter. I've had my KitchenAid mixer for a while now, and use it regularly, but I _still_ manage to make a mess with dry ingredients every now and then by turning the beater on too high. So once I dusted myself off and got the dough pulled together, I threw it in the freezer to chill. I was surprised by the step of grating the chilled dough, but seems like a creative idea to create texture. I had my helper monkey help with the grating, and into the oven it went for the prescribed 40 minutes.
Despite the ever-so-slightly underdone middle (perhaps another few minutes might have been a good idea), this one was declared a great success. The texture was both crumbly and crispy, with a lightness that a normal shortbread lacks. B gladly took some lactaid in order to enjoy it, and a little square of it went wonderfully with a nice cup of tea, and I have some wrapped up in the freezer for my mother who is a big fan of shortbread. For both the ease of making as well as the tender and delightful (if not diet-friendly) result, I think this recipe will get some good use out of it... imagine the seasonal variations!!! :D