Yeah, yeah, I know: another rhubarb recipe. Yawn.
No! Wrong attitude! Rhubarb’s season is brief, and we’re running out of time. We only have a few more weeks to find new and interesting ways to put this stuff to use.
And, as part of this blog’s resurrection from the grave, I’m trying to feature more local, seasonal ingredients wherever possible, which I hope will give all of you ideas on how to use your farmers’ market spoils. (And, happily, chocolate and vanilla are always in season, so fear not: there will be plenty of non-fruit-and-veggie recipes on offer too.)
Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this strawberry rhubarb tart without some reservations. Wait, you say, a strawberry rhubarb tart with a crisp topping? That sounds awesome. Well, it was…almost.
Everyone who tried the tart loved it (and, admittedly, it tastes delicious — sweet and tart and…well…like spring), but in my mind, the recipe wasn’t perfect. Here’s the problem: Rhubarb and strawberries give off a lot of juice when cooked, and if your tart crust shrinks even a teensy bit, the juices bubble up over the sides and leave you with a soggy, flabby crust. Bleh.
In my case, only one side of the crust shrank, so one side ended up soggy while the other was flaky and tender. So it wasn’t a total disaster, but it wasn’t perfect.
My recommendation? Try it with this crust, which never shrinks on me. It’s sweeter than the one called for in the original recipe, but I think it will yield a better tart.
Strawberry Rhubarb Tart with Shamey’s Crisp Topping
Adapted from Once Upon a Tart
1 par-baked tart crust
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
4 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup pecans (or walnuts), coarsely chopped
1 1/2 lbs. rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pint strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
Seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375F with the rack in the center of the oven.
To make the topping, place the flour and sugar in a food processor and pulse to combine. Drop the chunks of butter into the processor and pulse until the butter is the size of large peas. Dump the mixture into a medium bowl and add the oats and nuts. Using your hands, work the nuts and oats into the flour mixture until the topping has the consistency of coarse crumbs. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.
For the filling, dump the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, flour and vanilla into a large bowl and toss to combine.
Place the par-baked crust on a baking sheet and pour the rhubarb mixture into the crust, mounding slightly in the center. Sprinkle the crumbly topping over the filling, making sure the surface is completely covered, all the way to the edge. Place the tart in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, until you can see the juices bubbling up through the crumbly topping.
Let tart cool for 10 minutes, then place the tart atop a big aluminum can and gently remove the sides of the tart ring. Let the tart cool for at least 20 more minutes before serving (with vanilla ice cream).
Yield: 6-8 servings