Rhubarb is finally, finally in season ... it's about time.
It has the perfect sweet-tart flavor that complements the summer's last strawberries and pairs perfectly with many fall foods. If you can't spot rhubarb in a crowd, think "sweet, red celery." That's what rhubarb looks like. It's incredibly versatile; I use it most frequently to make sauce, jam, cake, crumble, and pie.
When I got my CSA box this past week, I was pleasantly surprised to find rhubarb among the contents. I later realized that this was because I had ordered rhubarb, then forgotten about it...but still, what a pleasant surprise! I'm entertaining this weekend, and rhubarb is a great place to start.
I promise to post more rhubarb recipes as more of it pops up in my CSA box. For now, this tart is a riff on my usual strawberry rhubarb pie recipe. Unlike pie crust, tart crust is sweet and less crumbly. While my pies usually have a lattice or crumble top, this tart is open-faced, garnished with a simple almond streusel. I do enjoy a good lattice crust, but this tart is an opportunity to show off your fruit-arranging skills. What? Yes, your fruit-arranging skills.
Strawberry Rhubarb Tart with Almond Streusel
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 stick plus 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
- 1 egg yolk
Blend dry ingredients with a hand or stand mixer. Add butter and blend until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add egg yolk; blend until dough comes together. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate while preparing ingredients for the tart.
After about half and hour, the tart dough should be just chilled enough that it rolls nicely. Place dough between two sheets of plastic wrap and roll out into a circle slightly larger than the size of your tart pan. (I use a round fluted tart pan, but any shallow baking pan will do.) Peel off the top layer of plastic wrap. Hold the dough from the layer of plastic wrap beneath, and carefully turn onto your pan. Once your dough is on the pan, remove the top layer of plastic and start fitting your dough to your pan, pushing it delicately into the crevaces and corners without changing the thickness of the dough too much. trim the ends, and make a decorative outer lip if you desire.
"Dock" your dough to the pan by spearing it with a fork in several spots, and bake for 10-15 minutes at 350. This will ensure that the crust holding the (liquidy) ingredients will still taste flaky, and not mushy.
- 3 stalks rhubarb, cleaned and cut into 4-inch-long slices
- 1 piece of the rhubarb thinly sliced (for the tart's center)
- about 12 nice strawberries, cleaned
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, more for dusting
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- grated zest of one orange
- powdered sugar for dusting, optional
Mix sugar, zest, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
Put your rhubarb into the bottom of the pre-baked tart crust as spokes of a wheel, with their tips touching at the center. You'll find that the center will have an empty circle, where all the tips of the rhubarb slices meet. I usually fill this with thinly sliced rhubarb and sugar, as in the pic below.
Slice strawberries one at a time, and arrange, fanned out, between the rhubarb slices. Sprinkle the whole thing with the sugar mixture.
- 1 cup sliced almonds (I prefer toasted but raw is fine too)
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- pinch salt
- half a stick of butter
- 1-2 Tbsp. flour
Bring butter to a simmer in a small sauce pan until it melts and starts to turn golden. Add sugar and let it dissolve completely. When mixture has no remaining sugar granules, add almonds, make sure heat is on low-med, and stir. When almonds are fully coated, add 1 tbsp. of the flour and stir. the mixture should turn cloudy, and thicken. if mixture isn't thick and goopy, add the second Tbsp. Stir. When mixture starts to clump, remove from the heat and allow to cool. When it's cool, break it up with your fingers and sprinkle it on top of the tart.
Bake the tart at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until rhubarb is soft and has released some of its natural juices.