I’m not sure if you’ve heard about the insane heat wave the pnw had this June, but I will tell you this: I’ve been begging my husband for an ice cream maker for YEARS and I finally got one. This has resulted in the need for a couple things. 1. bigger pants and 2. an extra freezer. It’s seriously addicting. I can’t stop thinking about ice cream.
For Father’s Day this year I made an awesome strawberry-rhubarb shortcake with cardamom whipped cream but then something happened. I had the perfect shortcake recipe and then…I didn’t.
And then came the epic shortcake battle of 2015. Five failed batches and a lotta bad words later I decided to take a break because SERIOUSLY. I blamed the 10,000 degree weather and moved on to shortbread, and after I made this recipe shortcake looked a little more like the boyfriend you were glad you broke up with ’cause you found a much more attractive boyfriend who treats you so much better than he ever did, and I’m thinking all of this with Queen Swift’s ‘Bad Blood’ playing in my head. I promise I wouldn’t know that song (every word) except the tiny David yells ‘WOUDER!’ when it comes on the radio, and I’m all about peace-keeping.
But, unlike boyfriends who are usually not for sharing, this recipe is. I picked up this crazy biscuit cutter and the strawberry-rhubarb shortbread ice cream sandwich was born. Thomas Keller’s shortbread (in the super-awesome Bouchon Bakery cookbook) is crispy and buttery and all things shortbread should be, then stuffed with homemade cardamom vanilla bean ice cream and strawberries and rhubarb roasted in red wine and ginger. The awesome thing about this is you can do a bit each day to break up the steps. Make the compote the first day, make the custard for the ice cream and your shortbread the next, then churn the ice cream and put it all together. It’s easiest to assemble right after you’re done churning (since the ice cream is soft) but if you don’t have time just leave it out for 10 minutes or so before you plan on putting it all together. Also, I’d recommend having a few cutters in your chosen shape since you’ll have to freeze them in the cutters, or just do a couple at a time.
- 1.5 lb rhubarb, chopped in 1 inch segments (about 4 c)
- ½ lb strawberries hulled and sliced in half (about 2 c)
- ½ c red wine
- ¼ tsp freshly grated ginger
- ¼ tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- ½ c plus 2 tbsp sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place strawberries and rhubarb on foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Combine wine, ginger and vanilla extract in a small bowl, stir to combine. Pour over strawberries and rhubarb, sprinkle with sugar. Toss to combine and roast until soft and syrupy, stirring occasionally, 30-40 minutes.
- 2 c heavy whipping cream
- 2 c whole milk
- 6 cardamom pods
- 1 c plus 2 tbsp sugar
- 8 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
- pinch or two of salt
- Combine cream, milk, 1 c sugar and cardamom pods in a large pot and heat slowly over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Whisk egg yolks and 2 tbsp sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Once the milk/cream mixture reaches a simmer remove from heat. Drizzle a small amount into the eggs, whisking constantly to temper them and adding more slowly as you whisk. Pour the mixture back into the pot and cook over low heat until it coats the back of a spoon, stirring constantly. Strain over a bowl, stir in the vanilla bean paste and salt. Taste, if you think it needs more cardamom, throw a couple pods in while the mixture cools. Freeze according to your manufacturer's instructions.
- 12 tbsp (180g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup (90g) granulated sugar
- ½ + ⅛ tsp (2g) Kosher salt
- 1 tsp (5.9g) vanilla bean paste
- 1¾ c + 3 tbsp (270g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp (24g) coarse sugar, for dusting (I used raw, any will work)
- Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream on medium-low speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Add the sugar and salt and mix on medium-low speed for about 2 minutes or until fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add the vanilla bean paste and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds to distribute evenly. Add the flour in 2 additions, mixing on low speed for 15 to 30 seconds after each, or until just combined. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to incorporate any flour that may have settled there.
- Mound the dough on a work surface and, using the heel of your hand or a pastry scraper, push it together into a 5-inch-square block. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until firm. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.)
- Position the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees, using the convection setting if you have it. Line 2 sheet pans with Silpats or parchment paper.
- Unwrap the dough and place it between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap. With a rolling pin, pound the top of the dough, working from left to right, to begin to flatten it, then turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat. (This will help prevent the dough from cracking as it is rolled.) Roll out to a 9-10 in square. If the dough has softened, slide it (in the plastic wrap or parchment) onto the back of a sheet pan and refrigerate it until firm. Cut your shapes, combining the leftover dough, rolling out, and repeating until you've used it all.
- Dust the tops of the shortbread with the coarse sugar and arrange on the prepared sheet pans, leaving about ¾-inch between them.
- Bake until pale golden brown, 13 to 15 minutes in a convection oven, 17 to 19 minutes in a standard oven, reversing the positions of the pans halfway through baking.
- Set the pans on a cooling rack and cool 5 to 10 minutes, if the cookies expanded in the oven, cut them again while they are still warm (to be sure they'll fit back into the cutters). Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely. The shortbread can be stored in a covered container for up to 3 days.
- 12 shorbread cookies
- 1 c vanilla cardamom ice cream
- ¾ c strawberry rhubarb compote
- Place your molds on a non-stick baking sheet. Push one cookie into each mold, sugar side down. Top with ice cream and compote, about ⅔ ice cream to ⅓ compote. Fill to the top of the mold. Freeze for 10 minutes, if the filling has condensed add a couple spoonfuls of ice cream until the filling reaches the top of the mold. Place second cookie on top, sugar side up, and freeze until hardened, about 30 minutes. Turn mold upside down and push sandwiches out from the bottom cookie. Store in freezer, makes about 6 ice cream sandwiches.