I love rhubarb - the tartness contrasts so wonderfully with all the sweetness that abounds in summer. Since planting my own rhubarb crown three years ago I have been blessed with an abundance of lovely pinky green rhubarb stems all through late spring and early summer. I love it served as a compote with yoghurt, whisked up with cream and yoghurt to make Rhubarb Fool and in my all time favourite pudding - crumble with custard. But as lovely as crumble and custard puddings are sometimes you want something a little more....well... refined. Try this lovely tart with a sweet pastry base (adapted from Jamie Oliver's wonderful Old Fashioned Sweet Pastry recipe), and a crispy crumble topping. Serve cooled slices with a little cream for a lovely summer dessert.
Rhubarb Crumble Tart
for the pastry
250g plain flour
50g icing sugar
125g cold butter, diced
1 large egg
splash of milk
Combine the flour, sugar and butter in a processor (or by hand in a large bowl) until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and a splash of milk and mix until a soft dough forms. Tip it onto the counter and flour it lightly, forming the dough into a flat round. Wrap it in clingfilm and leave it to rest in the fridge for half an hour while you prepare the filling and topping.
for the filling
approx 350g trimmed rhubarb, cut into 2.5cm chunks
50-100g sugar (this is down to personal taste - I like it a little tart but if you like your rhubarb sweet you may need more sugar)
Place the rhubarb and sugar in a heavy bottomed pan on a very low heat - the sugar brings out the liquid in the rhubarb stems and slowly dissolves. Once all the sugar has dissolved allow the rhubarb to simmer for five minutes or so, stirring gently to stop it catching, then remove from the heat and allow to cool.
for the crumble topping
100g plain flour
100g porridge oats
50g demarera sugar
Combine all the ingredients in a processor and whizz for a minute or so - not too long or your crumble will clump together and form a dough!
putting it all together
Roll out the pastry dough on a floured surface to fit your dish (mine is a 24cm ceramic flan dish). Don't roll it too thin - you want a good thick base to hold the tart together when you slice it! Press the dough into the dish but don't trim the edges yet.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the rhubarb into the dish. There will be quite a lot of syrup left which you can save - try it stirred into Greek yoghurt *mmmmm bliss*.
Now sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly over the top and place the tart in the centre of a pre-heated oven (180C/GAS 4) for approximately 45 mins or until the crumble top is golden and crunchy. Keep an eye on it and if the pastry begins to darken too much reduce the heat a bit!
Delicious served warm with ice cream, although it slices better if left to cool thoroughly.
serves 8 - 10
Grow your own
Rhubarb is one of the easiest vegetables to grow yourself and once settled in it will happily provide you with long pinky green stems from April to July for up to 20 years! Look out for bare rooted crowns sold in winter/early spring and plant straight away in well prepared soil (or just bung 'em in a hole in the garden and hope, which is what I did! Rhubarb is not a needy plant and requires very little attention) You will need to be patient and allow the rhubarb a full year of growing before you begin to harvest but as it will provide you with an abundance of stalks for years to come it's worth the wait! Don't panic if your first year rhubarb plant appears to disappear in early winter - it will die right back and reappear when the weather warms again in late spring.
So, you have a well established rhubarb plant - what do you do with all that lovely rhubarb?
I have been scouring the Pinterest for delicious rhubarb recipes just for you (I'm good like that...) Go and check out my Rhubarb Delight board for ideas for cooking with and preserving rhubarb. The Norwegian Rhubarb Cake and Lemon and Rhubarb Cookies are on my 'must make' list before this season ends!
Follow Forest Flower Designs's board Rhubarb Delight on Pinterest.