Rhubarb, Lime & Ginger Shortbread


So according to W, we use far too much ginger. Ginger in this, ginger in that, ginger in heffing everything! But you know what? Ginger is the dog’swhatsits. Sweet, savoury, spicy; show me a recipe that can’t incorporate ginger in it somewhere and I will explode. Literally*.


This week I tried three (THREE!) ay-may-zing ginger treats – 1, a ginger ice-cream with summer berry pudding, 2, a ginger & lime crème brûlée and three and 3, my aunt’s ginger ice-cream (which was totally different to the first ginger ice cream!). And now I have baked these, so make that four ginger treats. It would appear to the casual observer that I may have a teensy-weensy, itsy-bitsy, incey-wincey addiction. And y’know what? They’re probably right.

Adapted from smittenkitchen’s peach shortbread.

Makes approx. 40 2×2 cm squares.


300g plain flour
225g butter
120g polenta
120g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 egg, whisked
3-4 sticks rhubarb
1 flat tablespoon brown sugar
4cm piece of ginger
juice of ½ a lime


Sieve together the flour, polenta, caster sugar & baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and egg and form into breadcrumbs with your fingers – work it for a while to make sure there are no large lumps of pure butter. Form the crumbs into a ball, wrap with clingfilm and stick in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 190oC/375oF/gas mark 5. Butter a brownie tin. Slice up your rhubarb to roughly 5mm thickness. Retrieve your dough and split into two balls, one roughly twice as big as the other and place the smaller one back in the fridge. Press the dough you’ve kept out into the brownie tin and add the rhubarb slices. Grate (or chop) the ginger over the rhubarb, squeeze over the lime juice and sprinkle the brown sugar over the lot. Lastly, fetch the smaller dough ball from the fridge and evenly grate over the top of the rhubarb, gently pressing down. Stick in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until the top is nicely browned.

Hopefully you’ll get to a stage where your shortbread is light and the rhubarb is slightly squishy but still retains its shape. The polenta adds a really nice crunchy texture. Please note – I tend to reduce the sugar content of most of my desserts, this being no exception, so if you want a sweeter treat feel free to add more sugar. Also, shortbread hardens as it cools so don’t worry if yours come out quite cakey.

I reckon these could do with an extra kick of something but I’m not sure what…I was hoping the lime would cut through a little more than it does…if anyone has any suggestions I would listen most gratefully!


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