I am serious about this, folks. This is the best rhubarb tart ever. Ever ever. It’s so delicious I’m getting hungry just telling you how amazing it is. When Paul and I finally got to sit down (after all the photographing) with our slices of rhubarb tart, all we could say to each other was “Oh my god. Ohmigod. This is amazing.” I know, rhubarb can be nasty. Don’t worry–the flavor of this tart is unctuous tangy strawberry. No kidding. Be sure to get very dark red rhubarb stalks–no blushing pink for this baby. And don’t forget the cream.
8 ounces all-purpose flour / 225 g plain flour
pinch of salt
4 ounces (115 g) very cold salted butter, cubed
1 1/4 pounds (570 g) rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 3/4″ to 1″ pieces (2 cm to 2.5 cm)
1/2 lemon, juice only
4 ounces granulated sugar / 115 g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon soft salted butter
milk, to glaze
To make pastry, stir the flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Add the cubes of cold butter and rub in with your fingers until you get a coarse sand-like consistency. Add the ice water, just a little bit at a time, until pastry just holds together in a ball when you squeeze it. It’s best to use your hands for all of this. Flatten out the ball of dough and place it between two large sheets of parchment paper. Roll the pastry out between the sheets of paper until it’s very thin and large enough to fit into a 10″ (25 cm) loose-bottomed tart tin with some overhang. Basically, if you try to get the pastry into the thinnest circle you possibly can, you will be fine. Transfer the pastry to the tart tin, either by rolling it over the rolling pin or using the parchment paper to flip it into the tin. Pick up the edges of the pastry and fit the dough all the way to the sides of the tin. Trim any excess off the top by pressing down onto the scalloped edge. Use any extra pastry for decorating the top of the tart. (I cut out small circles, but you can do anything that makes you happy.) Chill the pastry-lined tart tin and the optional decorative pastry in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.
Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius / Gas Mark 6) and prick the bottom of the pastry with the tines of a fork then line with a sheet of parchment (you can use one of the roll-out pieces). Place baking weights on top of the parchment and, when the oven is to temperature, bake pastry for 10 minutes then remove pie weights. Be sure to put tart in on a baking sheet. Set aside and leave the tart tin on the baking sheet. (This is called a blind bake.)
While the pastry is blind baking, make the filling by combining the rhubarb and lemon juice in a saucepan and heating, covered, over high heat. Stir frequently so nothing burns. You are only wanting to achieve slightly softened rhubarb. This will take about 5 minutes. As soon as you start to feel some yield in the rhubarb, take the saucepan off the heat. Set the rhubarb aside to drain.
Sprinkle half of the sugar onto the pastry base. Stir the cinnamon into the remaining sugar and set aside. Place the drained rhubarb pieces over the top of the sugar-coated pastry in an even single layer. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top of the rhubarb and then dot with the tablespoon of softened butter. If you are using pastry decorations, place them on top of the rhubarb filling and then brush the decorations and the top of the pastry shell with a bit of milk. (Is your tart still on that baking sheet? Good.) Return tart to the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until pastry is a gorgeous golden brown. Serve tart, hot or cold, drizzled with cream.
Makes one 10″ tart (about 8 slices)
Adapted from Favourite Lancashire Recipes.
But I don’t have a scale!
- 8 ounces flour = 2 cups
- 4 ounces butter = 1/2 cup or 8 tablespoons
- 1 1/4 lbs rhubarb = around 2 1/2 cups trimmed and cut into pieces
- 4 ounces sugar = generous 1/2 cup