Baking with Julia Hungarian Shortbread

See, Elvis hadn't left the building yet......

So, back from Vegas where we celebrated my mom’s Birthday, a huge surprise for her  (yes, folks Elvis and all) and ready to tackle some new recipes.  I was totally pumped to see that this recipe included one of my all time favorite foods  RHUBARB!  I really love rhubarb.  Some of my fondest memories include this sour, crunchy fruit (really what is it, a fruit or a veggie or a root or what?)  As little girls my best friend Jackie and I used to have tea parties under massive pine trees in the backyard.  We would make rhubarb “sandwiches” with the leaves and the stalks.  Now, we knew full well that the leaves were crazy poisonous (perhaps an urban myth like the one my mom told me about your eyes “sticking” like that if you crossed them) so we NEVER put them near our lips but we did drive ourselves insane eating raw rhubarb.  Talk about pucker!

Another favorite memory of rhubarb (I told you I was obsessed) is the rhubarb custard pie made by my very own Granny Good Witch.  This is a one crust pie made with tart rhubarb and  involves half and half. You literally need duct tape in the kitchen in order not to inhale the whole thing. My Uncle Dan dropped one off at Granny’s earlier this week and Granny claims there is only one piece left.  Good bakers run in my family.  Sugar is its own food group.

This recipe reminds of good old church lady bars that my Granny was famous for.  Granny recently turned 91 and while her memory is not the best and she doesn’t bake anymore , I just know she’ll say, “These are pretty good, can you write that down for me?”  This recipe will then join other scribbled food notes in the two built-in dining room drawers jam-packed with recipes from (church) ladies with names like Hiya and Bernice.

Eli trying to show Granny how to play a video game. Never mind the fact that she NEVER had a driver's license and she also never learned how to ride a bike. Boy could that lady could bake though!

Sorry, I digress.  Granny is one special lady and things haven;t been going her way lately and she is on my mind.  She taught me how to bake as a child and remains an inspiration to me to this day.  We even named Hannah after her.

Back to the business at hand.  There was NO possible way this wasn’t going to be amazing with the WHOLE pound of butter and the rhubarb.  Easy enough to make, and yet technically it is a bit early for rhubarb in my book.  Lucky for us we got a jump on Spring a few weeks ago (where DID you go Spring?) and when I sent out my request via FB, my friend Jan offered up her patch (she also has tarragon and sage that never died out if you need that too).

The jam was simple to make though I didn’t have a vanilla bean on hand and this back woods town I live in didn’t have any either.  I decided to “be Jan” (she is always improvising) and dump in regular vanilla instead.  Done.

Cut to this morning when I whipped up the dough, froze it and then bribed the minions to help with the promise of baked goods when it was over. I thought the grating trick was really cool and I was looking forward to seeing what it would look like after baking.

The minions assisting

Into the oven for the allotted time then powdered sugar sprinkled over the top as per the directions, then off to Hannah’s soccer game.  The results?  Excellent!  Eli says I should sell my meals after making them and Hannah proclaimed it heavenly.  Not bad as a reward for winning 4-0 (even if you do run like your mom, Miss Hannah).


21 thoughts on “Baking with Julia Hungarian Shortbread

  1. Ckay

    I wish I had a Kitchen helper….
    I wouldn’t have risked to grate my fingers! Delicious recipe.
    Lovely post – lovely family- And lovely Grandma!

  2. alwaysaddmorebutter

    I am impressed that Eli & Hannah did the grating – I had some trouble with it myself! Your granny seems like a great lady and I would take the recipe for that rhubarb custard pie anytime! 🙂

  3. heidi1169

    So here is the recipe for the rhubarb custard pie. One pie crust, rolled out and put into pie plate. 3 c. chopped rhubarb (you decide how fine). Dump into pie crust. Then make the custard to pour over – 1c. sugar, 2 eggs, 2 TBLS. corn starch and 1 c. half and half. Whisk together and then pour over the top. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes and then at 350 for an additional 45 minutes or so. You know when the custard is set. It is seriously one of the best pies on the planet! Granny is the best!

  4. isthisakeeper

    Love the Grandma story…I loved baking with my Grandma as well!! 🙂 Funny how you grew up loving rhubarb and I didn’t even know what it looked like until this recipe! Glad you enjoyed the recipe.

  5. saltandpaper

    I grew up baking with my grandma, too. Such great memories. Your granny sounds like an amazing person. And thanks for sharing the rhubarb custard pie recipe. I’m going to try making it for my father-in-law when he visits this month. He’s a big rhubarb fan.

  6. The Double Trouble Kitchen

    Love the post. Wish you had a “like” button on your page. Thanks for the pie recipe. I’m hesitant to make it, even with your description of it being the best pie on the planet. This was my first taste of rhubarb and it had so much vanilla in it, I am not sure it I would like it without it. But it sure is an easy recipe, so maybe.

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