When I peered into my weekly food co-op box, I was thrilled to see a large, beautiful bundle of fresh rhubarb.
Some of you out there have your own rhubarb patches, which usually means more than you can handle, process or give away. And in the end, you’re entirely sick of rhubarb for the season. Not the case for me, and it’s early yet anyway.
Here are some facts you may not have known about the tart summer staple. Rhubarb is commonly referred to around the world as “pie plant” after one of its most popular applications – pie.
Rhubarb is a member of the buckwheat family and is actually a vegetable, not a fruit. The earliest records of rhubarb date back to B.C. China and were used for medicinal purposes. One pound of rhubarb equals about three cups chopped or two cups cooked.
So yes, in the end, I went with the common pairing – strawberry rhubarb. How can you go wrong?
Strawberry Rhubarb Tarts with Pistachio and Vanilla Mascarpone
Sweet Tart Dough:
- 1 stick plus 2 tabs butter, cold and small cubed
- 3/4 C. powdered sugar
- 1/4 C. finely ground oat powder (oats pulsed in food processor)
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 3/4 C. flour
Place flour, salt, sugar, oat powder and butter in bowl of food processor.
Pulse until coarse ground and add egg and vanilla.
Pulse until ingredients just come together. Remove from bowl, separate in to three flattened disks for six individual tarts or one large disk if making one 10-inch tart.
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Remove from fridge and work quickly to roll out to about a 1/8-inch thick on a well-floured surface.
Roll dough around rolling pin to then unroll onto your butter tart pan(s).
Keep dough-lined pans refrigerated until ready to bake.
Line tart shells with an overlapping circle of parchment paper or foil filled with dried beans and bake in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes.
While shells bake, prepare the filling.
- 2 C. strawberries, sliced
- 2 C. rhubarb, 1/2 in pieces
- 3/4 C. sugar (more or less to taste)
- 1 1/2 Tbs. cornstarch
- A large squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Mix all ingredients together and let sit about 10 minutes.
Fill tart shell(s) with mixture using a slotted spoon, adding a couple spoonfuls of juice at the end. Bake 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees.
Remove from pan(s) and serve with chopped pistachio and vanilla mascarpone.
Mascarpone is an Italian cream cheese that surpasses the American version in both taste and texture.
Mix 1 cup with 2 Tbs. powdered sugar and 2 Tbs. pure vanilla.
A true summer delight!
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