Sunday, 27 May 2012

Rhubarb and mascarpone tart


The rainy April and early May has been excellent for garden rhubarb but, now the hot weather has arrived it will rapidly dry out and become straw-like.  Before that happens, I’ve just managed to sneak in one more rhubarb recipe!

This tart has a shortbread base which is very buttery, very short and very crumbly.  It tastes just like the lightest shortbread biscuit you’ve ever eaten but is soft and tricky to work with, although it does patch well.  The original recipe I adapted said you should bake it blind, as you would pastry i.e. baking paper and beans.  I did this and, after baking, when I lifted the paper out, most of the shortbread went with it!  After laughing at how amusing this was (yeah, right) I found myself scraping soft shortbread off the paper and spreading it back into the tin – just about saving it.  What I’m trying to say is – don’t line the baking paper with beans.  Unless you want heartbreak!

The creamy mascarpone filling is light and creamy.  I will definitely use it for other fruits, such as peach, plum, raspberry or apricot.  It has a hint of cheesecake tang but is lighter and firmer in texture.

For all my rantings about the shortbread tart case it is sooooo worth it!  The buttery crumbly texture is divine and it has that almost granular shortbread texture that gives it more bite and substance than pastry.

Occasionally, I muse on how fun or difficult certain words are to type.   If you’ve missed this fear not, for here’s a summary:

Nice words to type: Demerara (flows like music across the keyboard)
Nasty words to type: Desiccated (is it two S’s or C’s?)

I would like to add “mascarpone” to the nasty words list – after the initial “ma” I always hesitate thinking, “does the ‘r’ come now or after the second ‘a’”.  Just me then.....


For the rhubarb:
500g rhubarb, cut into 2cm chunks
60g caster sugar

For the shortbread base:
135g unsalted butter, at room temperature
65g caster sugar
160g plain flour
15g cornflour
25g brown rice flour

For the filling:
115g caster sugar
30g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g mascarpone
30g plain flour
2 eggs – separated
100ml double cream


Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan oven 170°C/375°F/gas mark 5.

Place the rhubarb on an oven tray and sprinkle over the sugar.

Roast for approximately 15 minutes or until the rhubarb is soft, but still holding its shape.
Tip into a sieve and leave to cool.

Now make the shortbread base: Place all the ingredients in the food processor and pulse until you have squidgy crumbs that look like they will squeeze together to make a dough.  If you don’t have a processor, make by the rubbing in method.

Tip the dough out onto a sheet of clingfilm and, with as little handling as possible, bring into a ball.

If your dough is very soft refrigerate it briefly.  I didn’t as I feared it would make the shortbread tricky to roll out.  It rolls well soft and patches easily.

Roll out between two sheets of clingfilm until it will line a 25cm loose bottomed flan tin.  No need to grease the tin.

Don’t panic – the pastry will be very thin.

Gently place a sheet of baking paper down onto the pastry but don’t use baking beans – I found the pastry too soft for them.

Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is just turning golden and biscuity.
Leave to cool, then wrap a foil collar around the outside of the tin – this is to protect the filling from spilling out when it soufflés during baking.  Not sure it’s really necessary so make your own judgement – all I’ll say it, next time, I won’t bother.

Now make the filling: place the butter, sugar and mascarpone in a large bowl and beat together.

Beat in the egg yolks and cream.

In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until you have soft peaks.

Fold into the mascarpone mixture and ensure all ingredients are well combined.

Spoon into the cooled pastry case and level the surface.

Place the cooled rhubarb chunks on top.

Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until golden brown.  Another clue it’s ready is that the filling should be firm but with a bit of a wobble when you shake the tin.

Leave to cool – don’t panic that the filling will sink a little.

Serve, at room temperature on its own or – if you must – with cream!

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have created.



Susie @ Fold in the Flour said...

This looks absolutely delish, and while I know the base sounds like it was a bit of hassle, it looks gorgeous! :)

Baking Addict said...

I like the idea of a shortbread crust. Looks like it's well worth the effort. I struggle with typing certain words too especially ones with double letters like cinnamon

Nom! The Indulgent Baking Blog said...

I love your musings on words :), love the last rhubarb recipe of summer too :)

Gloria said...

Aaaah this cake look really delicious!!

Katie said...

Looks delicious and I love the sound of the almost cheesecake like filling. I'm with you on the spelling of funny words. Some make no sense at all :)

Fuss Free Helen said...

But is a buttery biscuit base? ;-)

I long for a garden althugh the watering would be hard work in this weather. I have to make do with one window box with 3 herbs in it!

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Helen

I haven't got a garden either - I just loot whatever looks good from the CCD's!

Happy baking

Lynne said...

Oh yeah. This sounds like a keeper. I might JUST be able to scrape together enough rhubarb to do this. Failing that...there's ALWAYS a tin of peaches in the larder. (And it's been there HOW long??)

My lap-top just refuses to spell 'remember' unless I take it very slowly and deliberately. It's not that I can't spell it, my fingers have a mind of their own. Some words, as you say, just trip across the keyboard. Others....well. And one of those is SOME which always comes out SOEM and I have to go back and correct. Almost every time. Ah well, if that's all we've got to worry about.............

fallen from flavour said...

oh wow. the idea of rich mascarpone with tart rhubarb... and then, as if that's not enough, you encase it in a shortbread crust - ooh indeed!

Lisa Marie said...

Yum. Yum. I say again, YUM.

Is there anything to be done with the straw-like rhubarb? I hate to throw it away and I don't know how to rescue it!!!

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Lisa Marie

I don't know if it can be used - I read an article once saying you shouldn't eat it when it's like that but I don't know if it's cos it's bad for you or just not very nice

happy baking

Clare said...

Oh that looks beautiful! Love the shortbread base, yum!

Choclette said...

Oh now that looks like a very tasty summery tart. So glad you are doing much with the rather maligned rhubarb - which thankfully does seem to be making a bit of a come back. I've made mascarpone tarts with a shortbread crust and it works heaps better than pastry - but then I'm rubbish at making pastry!

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