There are so many things I love about spring: longer, sunnier days, which means I can finally hang up my scarves and wool coats; flowers blooming everywhere, birds singing in the early morning; and of course the colorful fruits piling up at any farmer’s market in the city.
Now I need to tell you something up until 1 week ago I had not tried rhubarb. Yes you’re reading me well… It’s just that this was not an ingredient that my Mom’ but also Grand Mother favoured I guess because they both never really mentioned it. My boyfriend did try it but apparently did not like it at all back then.
Every season I would see the rhubarb on the market stalls. I have always been curious and excited about it but wasn’t sure how to cook it so didn’t give it a try. Well, you will be happy to know that I have conquered my “fear” and just baked them following my instinct and it turned out perfect! The result was way beyond my expectations, really, soooooooo delicious!
Last weekend during my weekly trip to the organic market at Noordermarkt. I stumbled upon gorgeous rhubarb stalks, I couldn’t help myself but just grab 10 of them. Next thing I know a worker was opening a box of strawberries and piling them up under the signs that read “3 boxes for €2,50”!!! Yes you read me correctly “3 boxes for €2,50”.
I couldn’t help myself but thinking that there was something wrong with the strawberries but the worker then just opened a box and gave me one to test: There were just perfectly ripe and so delicious. I was complete sold and just grabbed 3 boxes of the strawberries, looked around and then added a couple of lemons to my basket and some pistachios… Do you see where I am heading to now ? 🙂 I decided to bake a rhubarb and strawberry tart. It was given to me – I really didn’t had much of a choice or did I ? 😉
Rhubarb and Strawberry Tart topped with Crushed Pistachios and a dollop of Whipped Cream.
Makes: 2 medium size tart
Cooking time: 60mins (+2hrs cooling time)
For the dough:
– 95r unsalted butter, at room temperature
– 50gr confectioners/powder sugar, sifted
– 80gr finely ground almond powder
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp vanlla bean pulp or pure vanilla extract
– 1 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
– 180r all purpose flour
For the filling:
– 750gr of sliced strawberries
– 6 to 8 rhubarb stalks, sliced
– 50gr of sugar
– juice of 1 large lemon
– chopped pistachio and whipped cream to serve (optional)
Place the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on low-speed until creamy. Add the sugar, almond powder, salt, vanilla, and egg and still working on low-speed, beat to blend the ingredients, scraping down the paddle and the sides of the bowl as needed. With the machine on low, add the flour in three or four additions and mix only until the mixture comes together to form a soft, moist dough- a matter of seconds. Don’t overdo it.
Gather the dough into a ball and wrap in plastic. Allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days , before rolling and baking.
Place a buttered tart ring on a parchment lined baking sheet and keep close at hand.
Working on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to a thickness of between 2 to 4 cm, lifting the dough often and making certain that the work surface and the dough are amply floured at all times.
Roll the dough up around your rolling-pin and unroll it onto the tart ring. Fir the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the ring, then run your rolling-pin across the top of the ring to cut off the excess. If the dough cracks or splits as you work, don’t worry patch the cracks. Prick the dough all over with fork.
Preheat the oven to 180C and fit a circle of baking paper or foil into the crust and fill with baking weights or dried beans.
Bake the crust for 15 minutes, just until it is very lightly coloured. Transfer the crust to a rack to cool.
Combine the sliced strawberries, rhubarb, sugar in a big bowl. Add a splash of lemon juice and mix well. Let rest for 5 minuts. Taste the fruit, add sugar to taste.
Brush the eggwash on the bottom of the tart shell. Spoon the macerated fruits into the shell. Be careful not to pack too much filling into each shell. Add spoonful of juice collected at the bottom of bowl into each shells and bake for 40 minutes at preheated 180C oven.
Once baked, the filling will most likely look runny but just take the tart out of the oven and leave to cool completely. The finished tart will have a filling of jam consistency and not runny.
Before serving, whip some cream and sprinkle with chopped pistachio.
I would recommend to pair this summery fresh tart with a Champagne but any other sparkling wines will work perfectly: Cava, Prosecco, Moscato d’Asti, included. My ultimate favorite: a Paillard Rosé: This wine exhibits both earthy rhubarb-esque components and berry flavors, and when paired with this dish, serves to accentuate everything on the plate.
The Dutch boyfriend’s opinion:
When I was living with my parents, my mom used to eat rhubarb jam. The strong flavours didn’t appeal to me as a child back then, but strawberry jam was a whole different case. I loved it! Now all these years later Raphaëlle presented a combination of flavours that I was eager to try. And boy am I happy that I did. The tart was as sweet as summer strawberries with a great edge of rhubarb flavour that intensified the flavour combination so much. Small pistachios crumbs (hell lot of work to take out of their shell by the way) on top brought some crunch to the dessert. It is always a risk with these tarts that the dough becomes to moist and thus like a the bottom of a not fully cooked pizza. But it wasn’t the case: the dough was like a crumble with a nice hint of almonds in it. Well done baby.
And sorry for eating everything while you were sleeping…