July 7, 2013

Rhubarb Tart

This week, our bakers were pleasantly surprised by the rhubarb tart. Although it's a little late in the season for rhubarb, this tart was worth searching out the special ingredient. There were only a few components: pate sucrée, rhubarb, brown butter filling, and toasted almond streusel. The tart is baked in a quarter sheet pan to show off the long stalks of rhubarb, instead of cutting it up, like most pies do. The result is a more elegant tart, suitable for a dinner party or a picnic.

standard bake and measure

I wasn't too stoked about making this tart, partially because I'm not a fan of rhubarb, and also because I had just gotten back from a week long trip and the last thing I wanted to do was bake. But, duty calls! I had the pate sucrée already made, so I just needed to make the streusel and the filling. I found nice looking rhubarb at the grocery store, but I didn't need as much as the recipe said to use. Peeling the rhubarb was time consuming, and curing it overnight wasn't difficult, but it did require some advance planning. I probably could have cured it longer, but I was ready to bake!
The streusel was easy to make, and I toasted it in the oven while the tart was baking. The filling wasn't difficult either, using standard pastry ingredients that I always have on hand. The brown butter made the whole house smell amazing! My sister, who is visiting, kept on commenting on how great everything smelled, even though I hadn't actually made the tart yet. I didn't use all the filling but the tart was plenty full. After the tart was baked, it smelled and looked amazing! I tried to remove it from the pan, as the book instructs, but was afraid it would fall apart, so I cut it in quarters first and removed the quarters. I feel like my rhubarb wasn't as bright and red as in the picture, but I love how you can see the long stalks running along the tart.
I tried a small square, and omg so yummy! The crust was crisp, the rhubarb was soft and tart, and the filling was so good! The streusel is a nice touch, adding more texture to the tart. When rhubarb is in season, this is a great alternative to a crumble or traditional pie. 


The slightly tangy rhubarb with the sweet brown butter filling was such a great combination. For crunch I loved the crust, though it did get soggy the next day so the tart is definitely best the day of - not that it would be that difficult to consume because it's so good. Also, the toasted almond streusel is delicious, even on it's own or as a topping for yogurt or ice cream. The only odd thing when I made this recipe was I couldn't fit all my filling into the pan, but that could be because I used a bit more rhubarb. I filled the pan up to the brim, praying it wouldn't overflow in the oven (which it didn't). Also it was much too runny to actually pipe per the instructions so I just poured it in. All in all it was a delicious tart using one of my favorite seasonal ingredients.

Guest baker: Amy Pinkos

I was initially a little skeptical of this recipe.  Not really interested at all actually.  I have never in my life eaten rhubarb.  It looks too much like celery and I hate celery.  But the picture in the book is so amazingly beautiful.  Anywho, I am so loving the final product.  There are quite a few steps all of which are very simple.  But do yourself a solid and prepare.  Day one make pâté sucree and start to cure your rhubarb (I cured mine for almost 48 hours).  Day of, make the brown butter filling and streusel.  The brown butter filling was sooooooooo good that I kept eating it before baking it (super healthy? no).   I am a hardcore supporter of brown butter.

I followed the instructions to a tee except the streusel. I put the streusel on the tart 20 minutes before the finish time and baked it directly on.  I didn't grind the streusel either.  The most tedious part was taking the fibrous skin off the rhubarb....lame-o.  But it was all worth it.  The recipe is straight forward and easy to follow.  There is not really much skill involved.  The only thing to note is when i added my brown butter to the filling it was really runny.  I popped it in the fridge while the crust was cooling and it thickened up nicely.  Oh.....  And there was "the incident".  I have never used rice to bake crust.  I never will again.  When I removed the parchment paper and rice from the top of the crust some of the rice got in the crevices between the crust and the pan.  I couldn't get them out.  So my only option was to take the crust out from the pan.  So I inverted the pan onto a cooling rack to let the crust fall out without breaking.  Well....when I did that all the rice came out of the pan and down my shirt.  The rice was about one bajillion degrees.  It did not feel super good.  Rookie move:)  But I digress.  I wish I had some vanilla ice cream and then I would be in seventh heaven.  Oh wait.....I have whipped cream...:)

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