Well, the beginning of an extreme baking weekend!
My company has summer hours, and that means that the Friday before this holiday weekend was a full day off – a complete welcome surprise! My dad’s birthday is always over Memorial Day weekend, so I knew I would be going home for the weekend, and decided to surprise my parents with a little baked treat to get the weekend started.
When I went to Whole Foods recently, I was looking for cucumbers and happened to see rhubarb sitting in a bin. I feel somewhat sorry for the people around me, as I pretty much dove headlong across the aisle into the rhubarb, looking wildly around me while I scooped it into my bag so I could make sure there would be no competition for my delicious treat. (There was no one… in fact, I think my rhubarb-posessiveness chased everyone away).
I’ll be honest – while I love to bake, and I love all sorts of baked goods… I hate pie. Personally, any sort of baked fruit usually does me in. I find it overly sweet, with a squishy texture… it has just never appealed to me in any way (and I have made sure to try my fair share of bites of pie to make it wasn’t just the result of a bad experiences). However, for some reason, strawberry rhubarb works so well together, and because rhubarb cooks down so easily, to me it ends up being like a jam, and there is no problem with jam… as Joey would say on Friends, “Jam? GOOD.”
My dad loves tart things, so a strawberry rhubarb tart was a perfect thing to bring home – full of a little sweet, a little tart, and just a hint of cinnamon. The recipe I made was something we learned in my first quarter of school, and was pretty simple to follow.
- 9.4 oz butter, softened
- 3.8 oz powdered sugar
- .08 oz fine sea salt
- .08 oz lemon zest
- 5 drops vanilla extract
- 3.8 oz eggs*
- 15 oz pastry flour
- Sift powdered sugar and set aside.
- Put butter in mixer with paddle attachment, and mix on low just to soften and spread.
- Add powdered sugar to butter, and mix until creamy.
- Combine eggs and vanilla in a measuring cup with a spout or a separate bowl (the cup is easier to pour from).
- Add salt and lemon zest to flour and toss with your hands until the zest is mixed and coated.
- Add the egg mixture to the butter mixture in small amounts (around 3 or 4 additions), mixing after each addition to fully incorporate. When doing this, the mix looked like it was initially curdling, so after each egg addition, I scraped the bowl, and that helped it turn into a smooth mixture.
- Add flour mixture in additions to the butter/egg mixture, and mix until fully incorporated.
- Toss out onto countertop and knead a few times to make sure the flour is fully incorporated.
- Place dough on a sheet of parchment paper, and cover with a second sheet of parchment. Roll dough out into a circle around 3/4″ thick, wrap up in the parchment and plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before using.
- 16 oz rhubarb, cut into 1″ pieces
- 6 oz strawberries, quartered
- 1 oz butter
- 3 oz sugar
- 2 oz cold water (MUST be cold)
- .75 oz corn starch
- 3.5 oz sugar
- 1/5 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- .25 oz butter
- Melt first butter in medium-sized pot. Once butter is hot, add rhubarb, and saute to extract the moisture.
- In a small bowl, mix the cold water and the corn starch to make a slurry. (be sure to mix it well… corn starch tries to stick to the sides of the bowl and not mix into anything)
- Once the rhubarb is soft enough where it can be easily pierced with a fork and is starting to cook down/come apart, add the first sugar into the pan and continue to mix over heat to get more juices out of the rhubarb.
- After the sugar and rhubarb are cooked down toward the first stage of a “mush”, add the quartered strawberries in and cook until the strawberries start to soften.
- Add the slurry to the mixture, and bring to a boil.
- If any strawberries are still whole, work to break them up with your spatula.
- Add in the ginger and cinnamon, second sugar, and salt, and stir until all combined.
- Remove from heat. Pour onto a parchment-lined sheet pan and put in refrigerator to cool.
- 2 oz butter
- 1.25 oz sugar
- 1 oz brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 4 oz pastry flour
- Mix brown sugar, butter, and sugar and flour on medium low speed to combine.
- Once mixture starts to look a little clumpy, add the cinnamon.
- Once finished, the mixture should look like little balls of dough.
- Store in a sealed container in refrigerator until use.
- Roll pâte sucrée out to 1/4″ thickness, into a large oval or circular shape.
- Roll up and over the rolling pin (so all of the dough is wrapped loosely around the rolling pin), the lightly drape over a tart pan, leaving a couple of inches outside of the pan on all sides.
- Gently lift the edges of the dough and set into the pan, using your knuckle of your pointer finger as a guide. You do not want to press the dough into the pan, you want to guide it into the pan so the dough remains at the same thickness all over the pan.
- Continue with the dough all around the tart pan, when done, take the rolling pin and roll it over the top of the tart pan to cut the excess dough off. If you have any thin spots left in your tart dough, take a little of the excess dough and press it into these spots.
- Place the lined tart pan into the freezer for around 20 minutes.
- Remove the tart pan, and using a fork or a docker, dock the dough to prevent bubbles from forming in the dough.
- Place a sheet of parchment over the tart pan, and fill with pie weights, dried beans, or rice. Make sure to fill to the top of the tart pan, and make sure that the parchment is fully set into the dough. This prevents the dough from puffing as it bakes. Trim any excess parchment from the top.
- Bake the dough with the weights/beans/rice at 350 until the edges of the dough start to slightly color. Once this happens, remove the pan from the oven, and remove the parchment with the weighty filling. (You can save the beans/rice for another time, but after this, you cannot cook them as you normally would.)
- Fill the tart shell with the rhubarb filling, and crumble the streusel topping over the whole tart. Bake at 350 until the streusel is toasted and slightly golden and the rhubarb filling is starting to bubble.