This recipe was not quite as simple as it seemed. First, I didn’t know much about rhubarb, having never cooked with it before. The rhubarb I’ve seen in photographs looked much redder and thinner than the giant stalks I found at the grocers. In fact, they reminded me of red-tinted and overgrown celery — really, I was supposed to put this in shortbread?
I weighed my pound, brought it home, trimmed the ends, and chopped it into 1 inch pieces. Instead of cooking the jam on the stovetop, as Dorie suggested, I opted for roasted rhubarb jam. It was tart and much tastier than I expected, and I figured it would work just fine for the Hungarian short bread attempt.
I froze the dough, then let it rest in the refrigerator, and got out my box grater. This was the workout part of the recipe — grating two fairly hefty balls of flour and butter is harder than it seems. By the end, my arms were getting a bit tired — and I worried about repetitive use injury!
Several Doristas worried about the bottom layer of dough not getting baked thoroughly with the jam layer on top, but I forged ahead, putting the jam on the shredded dough, then covering it up with a nice loose layer of shredded butter and flour. I loved the delicate top and the bottom baked just perfectly.
This is one of those desserts that, because of the pound of butter, you probably want to share with as many friends, family, and co-workers as possible.