I mean it, I love Alice Medrich. If you want to fall in love with her too, you should pick up a copy of Pure Dessert. I have a lot of cookbooks, but this book is the one that I am always excited to open. It is where I go first when I need something special. The recipes are so elegant and work so well. Everything I have tried I have made again—and that is rare for me. Usually I make something once, and even if is very good I will not make it again—unless it is spectacular. Alice’s recipes are spectacular.
Some of you will complain about silly things like, “I don’t have any Kamut flour!”, “I can’t find palm sugar!”, “what is quark?” She does throw some out-of-the-ordinary ingredients at you, but that is part of why I love her. It is a challenge. Once you track down quark and use it in her souffle recipe, you will know why it was worth the hunting. You learn about new ingredients and new ways of using the familiar.
One of my favorite discoveries was Kamut flour. Alice said it “adds a fragrant buttery flavor and lovely yellow color to baked goods”. That was enough to get me searching for this difficult-to-find relative of wheat. I tracked it down and was so glad I did when I tried my first of her Golden Kamut Shortbreads.
Golden Kamut Shortbreads
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and still warm
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup Kamut flour
- Turbinado sugar for sprinkling (you can use granulated sugar)
- Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper for sprinkling
Grease a 9 1/2-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom.
In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter with the sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add the flours and mix until incorporated. Pat and spread the dough evenly in the pan. Let rest for at least 2 hours, or overnight. (Do not refrigerate.)
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 300° F.
Bake the shortbread for 40 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven, leaving oven on. Lightly sprinkle the surface of the shortbread with sugar, sea salt and black pepper. Do this carefully, a little salt and pepper go a long way. Let the shortbread cool for 10 minutes.
Carefully remove the shortbread from the pan. Using a thin sharp knife, cut the shortbread into wedges. Place the wedges slightly apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and put into the oven for 15 minutes. Cool on a rack.
Shortbread can keep in an airtight container for a couple of weeks.