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Blueberry Port Chutney Shortbread Bars

When I was flipping through Gale Gand’s Just a Bite, what really caught my eye was her suggestion that when making shortbread, you can simply grate the frozen dough into your baking pan instead of bothering to thaw it and roll it out. How simply wonderful! That means that you can keep a hunk of shortbread dough in your freezer at all times, and actually use it on a last-minute whim whenever you please.

I adapted the recipe for the blueberry port chutney from Chutneys & Relishes by Lou Seibert Papper. Using lime instead of orange, and the tawny port we had on hand rather than the ruby port his recipe calls for, it turns out to be a complex treat that works as well on meat dishes as it does on waffles or in cookies. I don’t think I shall ever again be able to bear not having at least a few jars of this chutney in my pantry.

The rich, mild shortbread mellowed out the spicy tartness of the chutney, so that they came together very nicely. If you substitute some other jam or preserve, I really do suggest using something very intensely flavorful to balance out the shortbread.

The blueberry port chutney really is a treat, and so I am also considering this my entry for Sugar High Friday #22: Can You Can?.

I’m not sure whether that front shortbread bar is waving hello or gesturing rudely at the camera which stands between the cookie and my mouth. Interpret it as you will.

Shortbread Bars
(from Just a Bite by Gale Gand)
1 stick unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
2 egg yolks
1 C granulated sugar
2 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 C blueberry port chutney (recipe below), or any other jam or preserves
Confectioner’s sugar (for sprinkling)

Cream butter. Beat in egg yolks. Stir together dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then mix in until the dough just starts to come together. Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap and freeze overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter and flour a pan. I actually used a loaf pan to get bars of the size I wanted. Grate the frozen dough in an even layer across the bottom of the pan. Cover with a layer of chutney (or jam, or preserves), leaving a 1/4″ margin or so around the edges. Grate more frozen dough across the top. Allow it to remain loose and do not press it down.

Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until done.

Blueberry Port Chutney
(adapted from Chutneys & Relishes by Lou Seibert Papper)
Zest from 2 limes
1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
1/2 tsp whole allspice
1/2 tsp whole cloves
1/2 C red wine vinegar
1/2 C granulated sugar
2 tbsp tawny port
2 C fresh blueberries

Sterilize jars.

Tie the zest and spices in a ball of cheesecloth. Place the bundle, along with the vinegar and sugar, into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add the port and blueberries and continue to cook (somewhere between a hard simmer and a gentle boil), uncovered, for another 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer only the blueberries amongst your jars. Raise the heat and boil the remaining liquid and spices gently for about 10 minutes, then remove the bundle and pour the liquid over the berries. Seal.

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13 Responses to “Blueberry Port Chutney Shortbread Bars”

  1. Tanna says:

    I have some lovely green Earl Gray I could bring for tea.
    That looks incredibly good. Love blueberries.

  2. Tanna says:

    And what a fantastic trick to grate the frozen dough. I have some times grated frozen butter. The dough trick is super.

  3. Lisa says:

    Those are beautiful!

  4. Helen says:

    That blueberry chutney sounds marvelous. I can already see several uses. I already have the ingredients on hand….
    Maybe that front shortbread is just happy to see you.

  5. Ivonne says:

    Where to begin … for starters, what a fantastic tip about the shortbread. I’ve heard of grating butter into doughs to distribute it evenly, but never actually grating doughs.

    Secondly, your creation is delightful. I’d love to be enjoying one of those with my cup of coffee right now.

    Finally, I had no idea Lou Seibert Pappas had a book on Chutneys and Relishes. I must search it out. Did you know she has a new book on coffeecakes out this fall?

  6. Danielle says:

    Tanna – Green Earl Grey? I’d love to try that. Earl Grey is my favorite default tea.

    Lisa – Thanks!

    Helen – If you come up with more good uses for it, tell me about them, please! I’ve mostly been eating it on waffles, though it is great for meats, too.

    Ivonne – No, I didn’t know that! I’ve actually never read anything else by her. I will have to check it out.

  7. Dani Spies says:

    This is the first time I’ve been to your site….what beautiful pictures you take!!! These bars look so good I just want to take a bite of my computer screen, but sadly it’s just not the same. I’ll can’t wait to give these a try!

  8. Helen says:

    rippled through homemade vanilla ice cream
    as the base for a salad vinaigrette with champagne vinegaserved with some citrus or rose flavored panna cottas
    as a side for some tandori chicken
    …and I am just getting started!

  9. Kimberly says:

    Those bars look gorgeous, and I love blueberry chutney. The version that I usually make has onion, mustard, and finely chopped crystallized ginger. I’ll have to try this recipe, too. My favorite use for it is with grilled salmon; the combination of sweet tart chutney with rich smoky fish is phenomenal.

  10. yoony says:

    hello. did the shortbread recipe only make 1 loaf pan’s worth? i’m trying to make 24 pieces or so and was wondering if i need to double that recipe. thank you!

  11. jubilant cerise says:

    The shortbread has that ‘come hither’ look about it: the gorgeous blueberry colour blushing through the top of the dough, the bold colour at its bare edges, the flecks of icing sugar… the shortbread is clearly beckoning the viewer. I bet raspberry or blackberry would be just as stunning.

  12. [...] Desserts and Other Sweets: Fruit Apricot Fruit Leather Ravioli Apricot Hazelnut Squares Apricot Marzipan Tartlets Baked Rummy Plantains with Cinnamon Gelato Banana Caramel Tart Banana Chocolate Chunk Muffins Banana Malt Brûlée Spoonfuls Blueberry Oatmeal Crisp with Lime Ice Cream Blueberry Port Chutney Shortbread Bars Brandied Peach, Ginger, and Sweet Corn Cornbread Trifles Cardamom Meyer Lemon Créme Brûlée Bubbles Cranberry Leek Strudel Cranberry Lemon Cornmeal Cake Fig and Date Basteeya Grapefruit Almond Tart Lemon Chocolate Chunk Cookies Lime Syllabub Pear and Basil Tart Pumpkin Nests Rosemary Currant Shortbread with Cumin Ginger Apples Sour Cherry Almond Milk Sorbet Sour Cherry Pie [...]

  13. gestibar says:

    nice :)

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August 2006
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