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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rhubarb tart -- raparperi-torttu

This year I decided that the rhubarb plant that I put in the ground (bare root) about 5 years ago was big enough to pick a few stems.  I found this recipe in a new cookbook that I bought a couple of weeks ago, Nordic Bakery Cookbook by Miisa Mink.  It is a cookbook from a bakery in London and the author is Finnish.  Gorgeous photos in the book!

Here is a photo of my little rhubarb plant.  I wish I had put more in the ground back when I planted this!
I barely got enough rhubarb to make the tart.

Remember that when you are cooking with rhubarb, only the stems are edible, the leaves are actually poisonous.

Here are the ingredients I used for the tart base, which is almost like a cross between a cookie and a pie crust.

1 1/3 cup flour (3 dl)
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 1/2 tablespoons softened butter
1/2 cup sugar (1 dl)
1 egg yolk

Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C).

First, mix the flour and baking powder together.  Then I used my fingers to mix the softened butter into the flour until it made pea-sized lumps.  You could also use a pastry blender, but I like to use very clean hands.  Mix this very well, working the butter into the flour.  When the butter melts as you bake it, this leaves the crust light and flaky.  This is the same method used to make American biscuits.

In the next photo, you can see the texture of the pea-sized lumps.  Next, I mixed in the egg yolk and sugar.  It made a very crumbly dough.

I pressed the dough into a tart pan with a removable bottom.  If you don't have one of these, you could just put it in a pie pan and press the dough partially up the sides.

For the filling, mix10 oz (280 grams) rhubarb (I doubt I had that much!) with 2 tablespoons brown sugar.  Spread this in the tart pan.

Next, for the topping, combine 3 tablespoons softened butter with 1/3 cup sugar (3/4 dl) and 1/2 cup rolled oats (1 dl).  Sprinkle this evenly over the top.

Bake at 400 F (200 C) for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

This was a wonderful dessert, the tartness of the rhubarb is a perfect with the sweetness of the brown sugar.  The only one in the family who didn't enjoy it was my 7 year old son--he just couldn't get past the fact that there were green bits in his dessert!

Next time I make this, I may give my poor little rhubarb plant a break and try substituting wild blueberries, raspberries, or even granny smith apples.  It would be delicious with any kind of tart fruit.  My daughter even suggested that it would also be terrific with no fruit at all.

It would be even better with a little whipped cream on top!