May 10, 2018
Every year when the ground thaws, those pale pink stalks of rhubarb are the first to unfurl from the softening ground. It’s the best time of year, when the potential for fresh, locally grown produce is laid out before us, with rhubarb to start.
I always begin with pie, or a thin tart that’s much easier to handle and doesn’t require quite as much fruit. It’s like a free-form pie you assemble and bake on a baking sheet, no need to trim or crimp, or worry about a crumble or top crust. Because it’s not too deep, it’s easy to eat out of hand, like the very best kind of breakfast pastry. And because rhubarb goes with just about any kind of fruit, there’s no need to wait for strawberry season—I like pairing it with equally sweet-tart and ruby red raspberries, from a bag in the freezer. You could also experiment with thinly sliced apples, sliced or diced mango, blueberries or blackberries.
This tart has a fairly sturdy crust, made even nuttier with whole wheat and oat flour, if you have some—or you could stick to regular all-purpose flour. It’s worth making a few extra batches while you’re at it, wrapping the disks in plastic and stashing them away in the freezer for pie emergencies down the road.
Raspberry Rhubarb Tart
The ratio of rhubarb to raspberries here doesn’t need to be precise, so feel free to play around with what you have, adding a third tart fruit to the mix if you’re inspired to.
1 cup all-purpose for whole wheat flour
1/2 cup whole wheat or oat flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup chilled butter, cubed
1 large egg
1 Tbsp milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
4 cups chopped rhubarb (about 1 lb. or so)
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
coarse sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
To make the crust, combine both flours, sugar, and salt in a processor; blend then add butter and pulse until the butter is reduced to pea-size pieces. Whisk egg and milk in a small bowl; add to the processor and pulse until moist clumps form. Gather the dough into a ball; flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for an hour. (Can be made 2 days ahead.)
To make the filling, combine the rhubarb, raspberries, sugar and cornstarch in a large heavy saucepan with about 2 Tbsp water to help get it started. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until sugar dissolves and juices are released, about 4 minutes. Increase the heat and bring to a boil (rhubarb will not be tender and slices will still be intact), then remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Roll the dough out into a 12-inch round and place on a parchment-lined sheet; mound filling in the middle of the pastry, leaving 1 1/2-inch border around the edge. Gently fold the edges of dough over the filling, folding as it naturally folds. Brush the pastry with beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly, about 45 minutes.
Let the tart cool on baking sheet on a rack. Transfer to a cutting board, cut into wedges, and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
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