Our first fresh rhubarb of the season–how exciting! I may turn this blog into an ode to rhubarb…or at least that’s what I feel like doing at the moment.Rhubarb crumble is one of the few desserts my mom makes and so I can’t help but be very fond of it in a sort of baked grainy combination, which prompted this tart.
Actually my mom always used to make rhubarb pies…which then turned into crumbles since they were, understandably, so much quicker! I like them both so I wouldn’t particularly complain. I thought the tart was quite nice; the hazelnut cream on the bottom is very rich and very sweet but the poached rhubarb retains its sharp acidity. I guess I only wish I had more rhubarb now! I think I saw some rhubarb and custard tarts with rhubarb on the bottom–a layer of thick rhubarb compote or jam would be nice underneath the hazelnut cream (and perhaps the tart shell could be blind baked before hand).
But that being said, I also love the hazelnut cream! This might be a fragipane, but I’m not certain–I’ve read elsewhere that to be a fragipane, an almond cream has to be beaten with equal quantities of pastry cream? Well, everything confuses me so this isn’t anything new.
The poached rhubarb took me a couple tries–the first batch turned into a saucepan of strings and pulp and mush–but in the end worked out quite nicely. When you eat the tart, the rhubarb can be cut easily with the side of a fork; it’s not at all stringy but very soft and smooth.
I like poaching the rhubarb because it cooks before you bake it, and I like to think it releases less water when it actually bakes…though I’m not sure that’s actually true? However the cream was certainly a bit more soggy around the rhubarb and probably needed a bit more time.
But more than that, I don’t think I cooked mine enough as the bottom crust was still soggy. The taste of the spelt flour was heightened a bit more due to the rawness and so wasn’t the most pleasant. I would have preferred to use a chestnut flour crust instead.
And, of course, happy Fiesta Friday! Hosted by the amazing Angie, the Novice Gardener and cohosted by two brilliant bloggers, Dini of Giramuk’s Kitchen and Mollie, The Frugal Hausfrau. You can tell my blog has started to revolve around Fiesta Friday–I’ve been a bit on the busy side lately and so if I’m only going to post once a week, it’s definitely going to be on a Friday…when else?
Cardamom poached rhubarb tart with hazelnut cream
Spelt pastry shell
I think I would have preferred only half spelt flour.
160 g spelt flour
1 stick butter, refrigerator temperature
spoonful brown sugar
40 mL cold water
Cut butter into pieces, dust in flour. Place in a bowl with the flour, salt and brown sugar. Rub the pieces of butter between your fingers and thumb to form flakes.
Once the butter has been adequately flaked, add the water and mix to form a cohesive dough. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic, and chill completely.
Adapted from almond cream in Richard Bertinet’s Pastry. Makes quite a bit; I only used half for the tart.
1 stick softened butter
115 g sugar
130 g hazelnut
27 g flour
1.5 eggs, beaten
1 large capful spiced rum
In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until softened and light. Add the sugar and cream until fluffy.
Beat in the nuts followed by the flour, then the eggs, a bit at a time, and finally the rum. Cover and chill for around 15 minutes; it should be cool but still malleable enough for you to spread.
Cardamom and vanilla poached rhubarb
I did this twice as the first time around I overcooked the rhubarb and it become mush. I promise that there exists a point where the rhubarb is cooked but not yet as structureless as porridge–it just comes and goes rather quickly.
300 mL water
90 g sugar
7 small green cardamom pods, crushed
2.5 cm length of vanilla bean
3-4 stalks rhubarb, cut into 8-9 cm lengths
Combine the water, sugar, and cardamom in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean, add them, as well as the pod itself.
Bring to a simmer, add the rhubarb, cover and keep on a very low heat so that the water is steaming but not simmering until rhubarb is just tender. Allow to cool.
Roll out dough, press into tart pan and trim edges. Spread a layer of hazelnut cream (I used around half). Chill.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Gently scoop rhubarb from poaching liquid, drain, and evenly space 8-12 pieces along the tart, rounded side up. Do not press into the hazelnut cream; they’ll sink in perfectly well on their own.
Bake for at least 30 minutes or until the tart is nicely browned on top and you’re convinced that the bottom crust has been cooked.