"Is that Red Celery, Mom?" asked my son.
That was how I really perceived Rhubarb when I first seen it in the grocery store 10 years ago. I have never heard nor seen one in Asia and little did I know what it tasted like. Its tart tasting crunch reminds me of biting into a fresh cranberry fruit, raw and crunchy. Definitely some ingredient to cook with but not eaten on itself!
Rhubarb is synonymous with the end of winter and emerging of Spring. Together with the Strawberries, they are like partners placed next to each other waiting to be scooped up together and to be brought home and whipped up into delectable treats. Together they present the most beautiful hue of red with a slight pop of pink which shouts that summer is very near and life should be enjoyed in the sun and outside. This tart is indeed great to bake for picnics and summer parties. There is not much difficulty in doing the filling, only that you need a very good tart base recipe that holds up and doesn't shrink during baking. You can substitute grounded hazelnut for the almond flour for a more fragrant and richer tart.
For Tart Base:
300g All Purpose Flour
150g Cold butter, diced
8 Tbsp Milk
150g Almond Flour
50g Butter, melted
1/4 Cup Milk
2 Large Eggs. lightly beaten
250g Rhubarb (sliced)
250g Strawberry (sliced)
1 tbsp Sugar
2 tsp Cornstarch
1/2 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste
Make Tart Base:
1) Process the butter pieces with the flour till mealy.
2) Add in 4 Tbsp of the Milk and bring the mixture together. Add in the remaining milk to form a soft dough.
3) Shape into a disk and let it rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
4) Butter an 8 inch tart pan and cut out an 8 inch circle from a piece of parchment paper. Set aside.
5) Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick and line the tart pan. Leave some dough overhanging at the edges of the pan. Poke the bottom base with a fork.
6) Return this tart pan into the fridge for another 30 mins. Preheat the oven to 400F/200C.
7) Line the tart with the cut out parchment paper and fill in with baking beans. Pop it into the oven and bake for 20 mins. Remove the parchment paper and baking beans.
8) Reduce the oven temperature to 350F.
1)Put the sliced Rhubarb and Strawberry pieces into a large bowl. Spoon in the 1 Tbsp sugar together with the cornstarch and Vanilla bean paste. Stir and mix together. Leave aside.
2)In another bowl, stir the Almond flour together with the 100g Sugar. Pour in the melted butter and mix. Then add in the beaten egg and stir to mix. Lastly, pour in the milk to mix into a creamy almond mixture.
1) Spoon the Rhubarb & Strawberry mixture into the half baked tart case. Spread out evenly.
2) Spoon in the Almond Cream mixture.
3) Bake for 35 to 40 mins until slightly brown.
4) Remove from oven and let the tart cool in the pan for 15 mins and remove from pan.
5) Garnish with powdered sugar and serve warm.
Serves 6 to 8