Roasted Rhubarb on Lemon Shortbread
Okay, so the blue cheese thing didn’t quite work out. I mean, it really depends. I mixed about three tablespoons into the whipped cream and it tasted pretty good. I love blue cheese, but it wasn’t quite there. Now, I”m not going to stop trying, but for now I think it’s safe to just stick to a dollop of creme fraiche or whipped cream, plain—without the blue cheese.
I really thought the flavors would go together, and they do, but it’s also a bit, well… odd. What I did find worked great together was the subtle brightness of lemon zest along with the light sweetness of shortbread. This made for a perfect combination topped off by a dollop of plain whipped cream. The tartness wasn’t too tart and I made the shortbread with less sugar and the whipped cream just barely sweet.
The result was a perfect bite-sized cookie, with bright and tasty rhubarb flavors and a hint of lemon. A bit of mint would be a great garnish, if you had some on hand.
The rhubarb in this recipe I expected to become richer, sweeter and darker. But even at 400°F degrees, it just softened and mellowed, gently loosing its shape and becoming silky smooth when easily whipped with a fork into a soft, and slightly stringy filling. Just a tablespoon of sugar to sweeten, a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice and a teaspoon of zest to match the shortbread and it was ready.
I think the rhubarb would also make a great barbecue sauce, I’m sure there’s one out there. Have to remember that. Anyway, this filling can be placed into little tart shells, used as a spread for croissants or layered in with strawberries in a pie. The delivery method in this recipe seemed to me to be a fun single serving where all the flavors blend in the same bite.
I’ll keep working on the pairing of blue cheese and rhubarb, because I think it has potential, and come back with something. If you love blue cheese like I do, try mixing some slightly melted blue into the whipped cream, I think a slightly sweeter and less pungent variety would work great. Let me know how it turns out. In the meantime, this is a delicious, quick and easy way to make some small summer desserts, enjoy.
- For Filling:
- 4 medium rhubarb stalks, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 T sugar
- For shortbread:
- 14 T unsalted butter, softened
- 2 T lemon juice
- 1 T lemon zest
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- pinch salt
- Preheat oven to 400°F and place rhubarb in a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with sugar and bake until soft. About 45 minutes to one hour.
- Use an electric mixer to combine sugar and butter, mixing on low speed, beat in egg yolk and lemon juice, zest, then flour, cornstarch and salt. Mix until ingredients combine and mixture holds together, about 2 minutes. Press into a ball and roll into a log about 1 1/2-inch in diameter. Place in freezer for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 275°F. When solid, cut into 1/4-inch rounds. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake until just firm, but not brown. About 30 minutes. Remove and cool.
- Place a dollop of filling on each shortbread cookie, then top with whipped cream.