Blackberry Curd with Scottish Shortbread: I made dessert for my soon-to-be-sister-in-law, Maria’s, birthday this past weekend – Vanilla Bean Tarts in Shortbread Crust with Berries, Lemon Curd and Blackberry Curd. Unfortunately, I didn’t photograph the vanilla custard or the finished tarts. But, I have some shots of the blackberry curd. So, I made some simple little shortbread cookies to go along with the blackberry curd.
The color of the blackberry curd really impressed me. The flavor was very delicate, and I felt like the vanilla custard overpowered it. This more simple serving with lightly sweet shortbread fits the blackberry curd much better. I used the recipe from the lemon cloud tart for the lemon curd, just swapping out blackberries for lemon. (I thinned the blackberry juice a little with some lemon juice.) Feel free to switch out the fruit in this curd recipe, try grapefruit, lime, orange, blueberries, whatever you want.
I’ve made shortbread before with only all-purpose flour, and with a combination of cornstarch and all-purpose flour. But, this time, I thought I would experiment with the flour. I decided to try rice flour; it doesn’t develop gluten so it gives a crumbly and tender shortbread, just like cornstarch would do. As the shortbread bakes, the smell of butter and sugar wafts in the kitchen- smelling heavenly.
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 300° F, and position a rack in the center of the oven. Beat the butter, sugars and salt on medium speed (in a stand mixer or with a hand-held mixer) until very fluffy and well blended. Gradually sift the flour(s) and cornstarch, if using, over the top of the butter mixture while stirring.
- Lightly knead the dough to form a ball. Firmly press it into an 8x8 pan or shortbread mold, and pierce the dough deeply with a fork several times. (This prevents the shortbread from puffing up). Bake at 300° for 40-50 minutes, until pale gold and just slightly darker at the edges. Allow to cool until barely warm, and cut the shortbread to form bars. Let stand until completely cool (if that’s possible).
- If desired, substitute 1/3 cup of rice flour or cornstarch for an equal amount of all-purpose flour (easiest way to do this is to measure out the 1 ½ cups of flour and then scoop out 1/3 cup and put that 1/3 cup back in the flour bag. Then add the remaining flour to your shortbread as directed).