Sweet sunday bite: Rustic rhubarb tartlet

June 19th, 2011 § 1 comment

Rhubarb and almond Tartlet

This is one of these sundays when there’s nothing better to do than dream about better days and bake: all cuddled up in a fleece blanket, with a warm cup of tea, I’m trying to forget the pouring rain outside.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not whining. I’m having the best flashbacks while the sweet smell of rhubarb, butter and cinnamon is slowly taking over the house… It was a couple of weekends ago, a warm evening in the middle of the Dutch countryside, in the ‘Achterhoek’…

It had been a perfect day: I’d been on a discovery tour of the farm shops of the area and had brought back a basket full of spring glory: the first strawberries of the season, asparagus, rhubarb, and farm eggs, and whip cream of course.

1st strawberries at 'De Vierakker'

I’d been sitting in the sun in between the flowers, before taking a long walk with Lucky, the family dog in the surrounding woods.

It was the perfect evening too: the table was set on the terrace and we were sipping chilled white wine while the bbq was warming up. Among the smokey bbq smells, one could distinguish the sweet smell of butter, rhubarb and cinnamon coming out from the kitchen window… Desert. A superthin crunchy crust, covered with tender rhubarb chunks slightly caramelised and shaved almonds. A crust, a galette more than a tart. Fruity, simple, rustic…

A perfect ending while watching the hares springing around in the fields next door.

Rustic rhubarb and almond tartlet
Croute a la rhubarbe et aux amandes

serves 4 pers.
prep: 15 min. cook: 20 min
oven temp. 180°C/350°F

Ingredients:
180 g puff pastry;
3 rhubarb stalks, most fibrous parts peeled* and roughly chopped;
20 g butter;
4 to 6 + 1 Ts sugar;
2 Ts lemon juice;
3 Tsp shaved almonds;
1 egg, lightly beaten;
5 cl whipping cream;
pinch cinnamon;
pinch salt.

Preheat the oven at 180 deg C

Lightly dust a clean and flat working surface with flour. Roll out the puff pastry dough into a super thin rectangle. Fold back about 1/2 cm of the sides and press well to form a rind. Prick the dough with a fork to prevent raising, cover with plastic foil and refrigerate until further use.

Melt the butter in a frying pan on medium heat. Add the chopped rhubarb seasoned to taste with 4 to 6 Tsp sugar, a pinch cinnamon and the lemon juice. Pan fry for 5 to 7 minutes, tossing regularly until the rhubarb just start to caramelize (but doesn’t break down into puree). Remove from the heat and leave to cool for a bit.

Beat the egg lightly with 1 Tsp sugar, 5 cl whipcream, and a pinch of salt. Toss in the shaved almonds.

Lay the dough on a baking plate covered with baking paper. Spread the rhubarb evenly on the dough and pour the egg almond mixture on top of the fruit.
Bake the tart in the middle of the oven for about 20 min. until nicely colored.

Serve slightly warm with cinnamon or vanilla ice cream.

Bon appétit!

 
* When I talked about this desert with my friend A. she couldn’t help but frown: when she thinks rhubarb, she thinks fibers… Most cooks do not indeed peel rhubarb. Completely peeling rhubarb takes away most of its lovely reddish color and is usually unnecessary, especially when using young stalks. Discard any leaves and break of the ends rather than cut them so as to peel off the most fibrous part of the stalk at the same time (as one would do for celery or beans) and nothing more.

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