Rhubarb Curd

I am in love, again.  This time I have a new-found passion for rhubarb curd.  It is tart and sweet and thick and rich and utterly delicious.  You can mix it with a citrus, make it plain, use it as a cake filling, whip it with cream, top bars with it, spread it on toast, stir it into yogurt, or eat it with a spoon straight from the bowl as you make it. 

 Today I made this recipe; I don’t think the last few bars will last long in the fridge.  In fact, one is calling my name right now.  You can substitute any citrus for the key limes – regular lime, lemon, orange.  Right now key limes are 20 for $1 at my grocery store so their juice and zest is going into several dishes a week at my house. 

Key Lime Shortbread with Key Lime Rhubarb Curd (yes, seriously)

for the curd:

  • 2 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbs key lime juice
  • zest of one key lime
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 Tbs butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar

for the shortbread:

  • 8 Tbs butter
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • zest of two key limes

To make the curd, put the rhubarb, 1/4 cup sugar, water, key lime juice, and zest into a sauce pot and cook, over low-medium heat, until the rhubarb is falling apart soft.  Puree in blender until smooth then allow to cool slightly.  Into a glass bowl that will fit over a pot as a double boiler, whisk together the eggs, butter, and 1/4 cup sugar.  Put over simmering water and whisk until all the sugar is dissolved and butter is melted.  Whisk in rhubarb puree, a little at a time.  Cook over lightly simmering water (not boiling, that is too hot) for 5-8 minutes, stirring all the time, until it is slightly thickened.  Remove the bowl from the heat and quick cool it by putting the bowl on a bowl of ice water and whisking until cool.

To make the shortbread, mix together all the ingredients in a food processor (or an upright mixer).  Pat into an 8″ square pan (glass is best).  Bake at 350 for about half an hour, the shortbread should be very lightly golden.  Remove from oven, top with rhubarb curd, return to oven and bake another 10-15 minutes.  Do not brown the curd.  Remove from oven again, cool on a rack for 10 minutes then refrigerate.  After half an hour they bars should be firm enough to cut easily and cleanly.

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