Thursday, July 10, 2008

Strawberry Rhubarb Tart

Tart preparations--chopping strawberries and pistachio kernels

Straight out of the oven

Tart sprinkled with chopped pistachios and strawberries

I’m happy to report that last night’s tart was fantastic. Not only did it look good, it tasted sweet and delectable. Definitely the best tart recipe I’ve tried yet. It wasn’t easy, but in the end, I think it was well worth the trouble.

I made one large tart (9 ½” diameter), and since the recipe was for five smaller tarts, I hadn’t grasped how much it would throw off my cooking time. I had rushed home from work yesterday, only to realize that I first needed to bake the crust separately for 20 minutes. No matter, I figured, I’d still have time to cook the tart, but without a minute to spare.

After the crust came out of the oven, I barely let it cool before I was brushing it with egg wash and piling in the fruit mixture. Forty minutes later, the tart was nowhere near done. And I needed to leave to get to my picnic at the American Players Theater! Shit. I paced back and forth in front of the oven. The crust looked golden, but the consistency of the filling still looked watery. Ten to fifteen minutes later I pulled the tart out of the oven and prayed that it would solidify a bit during the cooling process. I quickly sprinkled the chopped pistachios and strawberries on top, and Karen and I jumped in the car to head to Spring Green.

Luckily the tart did cool to a jam like consistency, and while we arrived at APT very late for the picnic festivities, several colleagues did try my tart before heading into the theater, and I was the acclaimed tart girl for the rest of the night. And thus I think I surpassed even my own expectations.

Next time I will definitely cook whatever I bring to the picnic the night before. Both last year’s peach pie and this year’s tart made me late, and it’s no fun when you work that hard and miss out on the bulk of festivities. I’d also maybe add a ½ tablespoon more of cornstarch to the recipe when making a 9 ½" diameter tart. Perhaps this would help to thicken up the fruit filling.

Strawberry Rhubarb Tart

1/3 batch Sweet tart dough (make a full batch and save the rest in freezer for other use)
2 cups of sliced strawberries
2 cups of sliced rhubarbs
3/4 cup of vanilla sugar/ granulated sugar (more or less, to taste)
1.5 tbsp cornstarch
splash of lemon juice (optional)
chopped pistachio and strawberries when serve (optional)

Follow the instruction on the sweet tart dough recipe to bake the tart shells using your tart rings or tart molds with removable bottom. Remove from oven when the tart shells are dry and lightly colored.

Combine the sliced strawberries, rhubarbs, sugar and cornstarch in a big bowl. Add a splash of lemon juice if you wish. Let rest for 5 minutes. Taste the fruit, add sugar to taste.

Brush egg wash on the bottom of tart shells. Spoon the macerated fruits into the shells. Be careful not to pack too much filling into each shells. Add spoonful of juice collected at the bottom of bowl into each shells and bake for 35-40 minutes at preheated 350F oven.

The filling will bubbling when it's almost ready. The fruit and juice should looked set when it's ready. The finished tart will have a filling of jam consistency and not runny.

Remove the cooked tarts from oven and let cool. Sprinkle with chopped pistachio and fresh strawberries for color. Serve with a scoop of ice cream or as it is to fully enjoy the flavors of the tart.

Makes 5 3.5-inches individual tarts.

1 comment:

seif said...

I am very impressed with your tart!! I have always been afraid of them.