Rhubarb tart (Tarte à la rhubarbe)
“Rhubarb is one those ‘things’ I’ve never quite known how to approach. It looks like a celery, but it’s red. I looked it up on The Art of French Baking and found an interesting recipe. This recipe doesn’t involve any soaking, and it doesn’t ask for sweet pastry either; the final result is a tart whose filling has a very sharp flavour, and it’s particularly suitable for people who are not keen on overly sweet desserts.”
Shortcrust pastry [Pâte brisée] by Ginette Mathiot
250 [9 oz] plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tbsp flavourless oil, such as sunflower or rapeseed
1/2 tsp salt
125g [4 1/4 oz] butter, chilled and diced, plus extra for greasing
1-2 tbsp ice-cold water
Put the flour into a bowl. Make a well into the middle and add the oil, salt and butter. Rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Moisten with water to bring the dough together. Briefly knead the dough by hand; the more quickly this is done, the better the pastry will be. Cover the pastry with cling film and leave to chill in the refrigerator for between 30 minutes and 24 hours. Bring it back to room temperature before rolling out. On a lightly floured surface, roll it out to a circle 5 mm [1/4 inch] thick and use to line a greased 23-cm [9-inch] tart tin, preferably one with a removable base. The pastry may also be used to line small round or boat shaped tins [barquettes].
To bake the pastry case blind:
Preheat the oven to 200˚C/400˚F/Gas Mark 6. Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans or uncooked rice. Bake for 10 minutes, then gently remove the greaseproof paper and baking beans or rice and return the pastry case to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes, until it is light golden brown and cooked throughout.
For the filling:
50 g [1 3/4 oz] plain flour
10 g [3 1/2 oz] caster sugar
100 ml [3 1/2 fl oz] crème fraîche
500 g [1 lb 2 oz] rhubarb, cut into 3-cm [1 1/4 inch] slices
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Line a 23-25-cm [9-10-inch] tart tin with the pastry. In a bowl, beat the flour, eggs, sugar and crème fraîche until just smooth. Coat the rhubarb in the mixture and pour into the pastry case. Bake for 30′-40′.