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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Rhubarb Tart Recipe

Rhubarb Tart Recipe

Rhubarb Tart Recipe
Rhubarb Tart Recipe /shutterstock

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Understanding Rhubarb

Rhubarb, often mistaken for a fruit due to its common use in desserts, is actually a vegetable. Known for its tart flavor and vibrant red stalks, rhubarb is a favorite ingredient in many spring and summer recipes. Its unique taste pairs beautifully with sweet ingredients, making it a star in pies, crisps, and, of course, tarts.

When to Harvest Rhubarb

Rhubarb is typically harvested in late spring to early summer, though the exact timing can depend on your location and climate. The best time to pick rhubarb is when the stalks are 10-15 inches long and have a rich red color, though some varieties may remain green when ripe. It’s crucial to avoid harvesting rhubarb in its first year to allow the plant to establish itself. From the second year onward, you can begin harvesting, but always leave some stalks behind to ensure the plant remains healthy.

Tips for Selecting and Storing Rhubarb

  1. Color and Firmness: Choose stalks that are firm and crisp with a deep red color, which often indicates a sweeter flavor.
  2. Leaves: Rhubarb leaves are toxic and should be removed before cooking. When buying rhubarb, make sure the leaves are fresh, as this indicates the stalks were recently harvested.
  3. Storage: Store rhubarb stalks in the refrigerator, wrapped in a damp paper towel inside a plastic bag, where they can last up to a week. For longer storage, consider freezing rhubarb by cutting it into pieces and storing it in airtight containers.

 

 

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Rhubarb Tart Recipe

Ingredients

  • For the crust:
    • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • 2-3 tablespoons ice water
  • For the filling:
    • 4 cups fresh rhubarb, chopped into 1-inch pieces
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup cornstarch
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • Zest of 1 lemon
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • For the topping:
    • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Crust:
    1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt.
    2. Add the chilled butter and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
    3. Mix in the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of ice water, adding more water if necessary, until the dough comes together.
    4. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Make the Filling:
    1. In a large bowl, combine the chopped rhubarb, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla extract, lemon zest, and salt. Toss to coat the rhubarb evenly.
    2. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes to allow the rhubarb to release some of its juices.
  3. Prepare the Topping:
    1. In a bowl, mix together the flour and sugar.
    2. Add the chilled butter and use a pastry cutter or your fingers to mix until the topping resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Assemble and Bake:
    1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
    2. Roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured surface and fit it into a 9-inch tart pan. Trim any excess dough.
    3. Pour the rhubarb filling into the crust, spreading it evenly.
    4. Sprinkle the topping over the rhubarb filling.
    5. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden brown.
    6. Let the tart cool before serving.

 

 

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Tips for the Perfect Rhubarb Tart

  • Balancing Tartness: Rhubarb is naturally tart. Adjust the sugar in the recipe to suit your taste preference. You can also combine rhubarb with strawberries or apples for a sweeter filling.
  • Preventing a Soggy Bottom: To avoid a soggy crust, consider blind-baking the crust for 10 minutes before adding the filling.
  • Thickening the Filling: Cornstarch helps thicken the rhubarb filling, but you can also use tapioca or flour as alternatives.

Enjoy your rhubarb tart with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra indulgent treat!

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