I so rarely use a recipe as printed, even the first time I do something. But every now and then you hit a true winner. One of the sites I visit regularly is “Italian Food Forever,” which is run by Deborah Mele. This dish is as elegant as it is simple. The same shortbread recipe is used for the pressed in base and the crumb, and the center is a quart of blueberries tossed with a few ingredients. I used salted butter and left out the added salt.
I made this with gluten-free flour, to meet the local needs, and while I do not eat this flour and sugar-based food, I am assured it was a winner. The look and smell were superb. I’ll likely try a low carb, no-sugar version with raspberries… sooner or later.
- Prep time 15 minutes
- Cook time 35 minutes
- Makes 12
- shortbread crumb
egg (room temperature)
butter (cold, diced)
- blueberry filling
- Pre-heat oven to 375 F.
- Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with oil and line with parchment.
- In a bowl, toss the berries with the cornstarch and sugar. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg with the vanilla.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugars, and baking powder.
- Add the egg mixture into the dry ingredients, mix as well as possible.
- Add the diced butter and toss to coat. Treat this as a pastry crust, so use what you are comfortable with: big fork, pastry cutter, fast hands. I like fast hands. Work the mixture rapidly with your hands, trying not to melt the butter, but getting the mixture to a pressable pastry consistency. I would say it took about 5 minutes.
- Press half of the mixture into the parchment-lined baking dish.
- Add the lemon juice and zest to the filling mixture. Toss rapidly and distribute onto the surface of the crust.
- Sprinkle the remaining pastry, as a crumb, over the top of the blueberries.
- Bake, uncovered, for 35 minutes. The fruit should be bubbly and the top crumb a light brown.
- Remove from the oven and cool for about an hour on the counter, then transfer to the refrigerator. Cool for an hour. Remove by the parchment to a cutting board and use a sharp, thin knife to slice into 12 squares.
- Wrap individually in plastic wrap and store in a container in the refrigerator.