The other day I was doing that clicking thing that happens when I look at blogs. I read a blog, click on the links to read another blog, and another. Pretty soon, I’ve read a couple of dozen blogs and find myself forgetting what it was I was doing in the first place. I stumbled upon this recipe for cardamom shortbread bars with marmalade. I’ve written about cookies more than once on this blog, and, I guess, I have a particular ‘thing’ for cookies. So, when I saw the words cardamom and shortbread together I couldn’t help but print out the recipe for some testing.
As also happens, my dreams are influenced by what I read during the day. I woke up the next morning with a variation on the recipe running through my head. It really is a complicated mix up of thoughts that brought me to it, but between the recipe on the blog, the plans I had for making quince jelly and my husband reminding me how much he wants me to save some of the quince juice for a drink we make, I ended up with a new idea.
The drink we make takes quince juice and freshly squeezed limes and sugar. It’s nothing more than limeade plus quince juice, but it tastes unbelievably good and is rather exotic. I found it in a Persian cookbook when I was desperately looking for something to do with some extra quince juice I had made once I had hit the wall with making jelly. Since it was a Persian recipe to begin with, it seemed to me that the cardamom shortbread would go with a lime-quince marmalade. As far as I can tell, there aren’t any recipes out there for lime-quince marmalade, but I found one for lime marmalade. Substituting most of the water with quince juice, I made a lime-quince marmalade jelly like substance that tastes an awful lot like the drink with a heady lime kick to it. (It’s quite yummy on English muffins.)
By following the cookie part of the recipe linked above and using my new concoction instead of the grapefruit marmalade, I got a cookie that would fit in on a plate of Christmas cookies (pretty colors) and also fill in for a dessert at the end of a middle eastern dinner. I’d never had to grate frozen cookie dough before, so I thought it would be fun to do a time-lapse of the process. This brief clip shows the whole process once the dough has been frozen for two hours until they are put away. This video shows the way the cookies are put together.
Carefully grate the lime peel off the limes, removing the green part with as little as the white pith beneath. I used a regular grater for this and then chopped up the pieces. Juice the limes.
Put the quince juice, the lime peels, the lime juice and the water in a heavy non-reactive stock pot or dutch oven. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for two hours. This softens the peel and infuses the quince juice with yummy limeness.
Bring to a boil, add the sugar and bring to a boil again. Reduce the heat to medium and stir, stir, stir, stir. Just keep standing there stirring. For a long time. Until the mixture comes to 219° F. Pour into waiting hot jars and allow to seal at room temp.
Finding quinces is going to be the tricky part. Quinces are a fruit that have a brief season and show up in the stores for just a week or two in October. To make quince juice, you just wash off all the fuzz, quarter the fruit and toss it in a huge pot. Add enough water that it shows through the fruit but is not floating, bring to a boil, cover and cook until the fruit is moosh. Strain well. If you have a jelly bag, you can use that. I usually put it through a colander first, then a fine mesh sieve, and finally a sieve lined in wet cheesecloth. I’m not too picky about it being perfectly clear, though. If you want to make super clear jelly, then doing an over-night hang with a jelly bag will keep it from getting any cloudiness.