Green Tea Shortbread with Lemon Curd and Pistachio Brittle

  • Green Tea Shortbread with Lemon Curd and Pistachio Brittle

    I made this dessert last year when I was trying to (unsuccessfully) impress the people from The Food Network.  I wanted (breathlessly) to be on their Spring Baking Challenge and in the process of pretending I was The Baking Shizit, I made a crapload of spring desserts that I’m now ready to share with you- because a) it’s so undeniably and finally spring, and b) I have have enough time to lick my emotional wounds from not being casted.  That’s okay.  Who wants to go to LA for two weeks to film a show about their Favorite Hobby Ever anyways?  I’m no fool.

    This dessert is a cross between fancy and rustic.  Fancy because it has three distinct desserts with distinctly fancy ingredients or steps involved (green tea = fancy; curd = always fancy; and pistachio brittle = fancy because, well, you need to use a candy thermometer).  The dessert is rustic because it gets plopped together without a lot of skill or piping or dragees or gold foil or tears.  (Rustic is always code for “it’s allowed to look like a child put it together” in my dictionary.  Cheers for rustic!)

    Don’t not make this dessert because I didn’t get on the show.  It did get me to the next level in the process (one day I’ll have the balls dragees to show you one of the audition videos The Husband took of me *cringe*), so I guess I can say that the Food Network (indirectly) vouched for this recipe.  You will too.

    Adapted from my Classic Shortbread Cookie and Lemon Curd recipes…


    2 cups all-purpose flour

    1 1/2 tablespoons green tea powder*

    1 1/4 teaspoons salt

    1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (room temperature)

    1/4 cup granulated sugar

    1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar


    3 lemons

    1 1/2 cups sugar

    1/4 pound unsalted butter (room temperature)

    4 extra-large eggs (or 4 1/2 large eggs)

    1/2 cup lemon juice (from 3 – 4 lemons)

    1/4 teaspoon salt

    PISTACHIO BRITTLE (adapted from Epicurious’s recipe):

    1 cup sugar

    1/2 cup light corn syrup

    1 cup unsalted, shelled raw natural pistachios, very coarsely chopped

    1 tablespoon unsalted butter

    1 teaspoon salt

    3/4 teaspoon baking soda

      1. Sift flour, green tea powder and salt together in a small bowl and set aside.
      2. Cream butter with a stand mixer (or hand-held mixer) until light (2 – 3 minutes), then add sugar and beat for additional 2 – 3 minutes (scraping sides of bowl a couple of times throughout).  Add flour, tea & salt combo and mix on low speed until dough is just incorporated together into a ball.
      3. Pat dough into bottoms of small removable-bottom tart pans (no more than halfway to top of pan), wrap with plastic wrap and chill until very firm (at least an hour).
      4. Preheat oven to 325°, and bake shortbread until firm to the touch and turning golden brown (about 20 – 25 minutes).  Cool on a wire rack.
    2. LEMON CURD:
      1. In the bowl of a food processor, process sugar and zest of 3 lemons until zest is finely minced.
      2. Add the butter to the sugar-lemon mixture, and mix in processor for 45 seconds.  Add the eggs, one at a time, whirling the processor for 20 seconds between each addition, and then add the lemon juice and salt.  Mix until combined.
      3. Pour the mixture into a heavy saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly.   (The lemon curd will thicken at about 170°; it’s ready when it’s the thickness of a loose pudding.)  Remove from heat and cool or refrigerate.  Spread over tops of cooled green tea shortbread tarts.
      1. Place a large Silpat/ silicone baking sheet on your counter and set aside.  (Or line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper; spray with nonstick spray and set aside.)
      2. In a medium saucepan, whisk sugar, corn syrup, and 3 tablespoons water together.  Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves.   Using a candy thermometer, bring mixture to a boil and cook until thermometer registers 290°F (about 3 – 4 minutes).
      3. Using a heatproof spatula, stir in pistachios, butter, and salt (syrup will seize initially, but will melt as it heats back up).  Continue to cook syrup, stirring often, until thermometer registers 300°F and pistachios are golden brown, 3 – 4 minutes.  The caramel should be pale brown (it will darken slightly as it cools).  Sprinkle baking soda over the mixture and stir quickly to blend caramel thoroughly (mixture will bubble vigorously).
      4. Immediately pour caramel onto prepared baking sheet and quickly spread out as thin as possible, using a heatproof spatula.  Let caramel cool completely, then break brittle into pieces.  Place on top of lemon curd and serve tarts close to room temperature.


    • *Green tea powder?  Yeah, it dissolves better.  I did not use it in the picture above, because if I had, the cookies would have had a pleasing (albeit odd) green tinge.  I just took green tea and processed it to bits in our coffee bean/ spice grinder.
    • Leftover shortbread dough?  You might have more dough than you do tart pans.  The good news is that it freezes really well, so you can thaw it and roll it out to make cookies any time.  Just make sure to chill the dough again right before baking.
    • Be patient.  It’s tough to wait, isn’t it?  When you start to smell the cookie in the air, you will be tempted to take it out of the oven… but let it bake all the way through for the full time (or it will be a tad soft in the middle, and void of that classic shortbread taste).
    • Be careful not to heat the curd up too quickly or without stirring constantly, as the curd will basically scramble (since it’s mostly eggs).  Gross.  Lemon scrambled eggs.
    • The curd will thicken a bit as it cools, just so you know.  Leftover curd?  It freezes well, too.  Great news.
    • Don’t feel like making the lemon curd?  This Tiptree brand has the best store-bought lemon curd ever.  And it’s natural, so you don’t have to feel like you’re eating things you can’t pronounce.
    • Be careful not to burn the caramel for the brittle… sugar and nuts know how to burn, baby.
    • Store the brittle pieces between parchment or wax paper so they don’t stick together.
    • Enjoy!


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    May 14th, 2016 | More Sweets Please | No Comments | Tags: , , ,

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