I didn't mention the exact amount of extra butter for the gluten free shortbread mix in the first post - 1/4 to 1/2 stick plus I added 1 tablespoon of water.
I think these additions are necessary because I live in Denver. The altitude and lack of humidity really does make a difference.
Be careful when cooking the caramel at the end while waiting for it to reach 240 degrees. It bubbles pretty vigorously and can splatter.
This is a great recipe and everyone who eats the result will be super impressed.
Recipe by Zoe Nathan at Food and Wine.
I have to admit this recipe was tough. I broke my candy thermometer and so I was not able to guarantee that I hit the correct temperature for the carmel at the end. The caramel has a subtle bitter flavor almost like it is burned. The salt really makes a huge difference. I think the burn came in during the sugar caramelizing process. It did not take 7 minutes. It took me almost 20 minutes to get the sugar to liquefy completely and caramelize. I can only assume that I did not have the heat turned up enough.
I used a gluten free shortbread mix that turned out great. I had to add a little extra butter than what the recipe called for but it came out great!
- 1 stick (4oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large egg white, beaten
- 2 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Maldon Sea Salt, for finishing
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the short sides. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer at low speed, cream the butter. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar. Add the whole eggs and beat until incorporated, then beat in the flour and salt. Press the pastry into the prepared pan in an even layer, 1/4 inch thick. Freeze until firm, 10 minutes.
Line the pastry with parchment paper and fill with pie weights. Bake for 35 minutes, until just set. Carefully remove the pie weights and parchment. Brush the shell with the egg white and bake for 20 minutes longer, until golden and cooked through. Let cool.
In a saucepan, bring the cream, vanilla bean and seeds to a simmer. Cover; keep warm.
In a large, heavy saucepan, stir the sugar into 1/4 cup of water. Simmer over moderate heat, without stirring, until a deep amber caramel forms, 7 minutes. Remove the caramel from the heat and carefully add the cream. When the bubbling subsides, stir in the butter. Insert a candy thermometer and cook over moderately high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the caramel reaches 240°, 10 minutes. Discard the vanilla bean and stir in the salt.
Pour the caramel over the shell. Refrigerate until firm, 4 hours or overnight; bring to room temperature. Remove the bar from the pan using the parchment overhang; cut into squares. Sprinkle with Maldon salt before serving.