Sunday, 6 May 2012

Rhubarb bakewell tart

The mild winter and recent wet weather have been rather good news for the garden rhubarb and this recipe utilises the first crop from the CCD’s (Caked Crusader’s Da) plant.  OK, so garden rhubarb isn’t as pretty as the pink, forced rhubarb but it’s free...and free rhubarb trumps pink rhubarb any day in my world!

This tart plays with the Bakewell formula in that the jam is replaced by rhubarb puree which, while sweetened, is still tart and gives a delicious contrast with the thick, nutty frangipane.  The pieces of rhubarb on top sink into the frangipane during baking and ooze their acidic fruitiness, meaning that each bite is a taste sensation.

Going into the oven, the rhubarb looks like this:

The roasted rhubarb looked so inviting when it came out of the oven:

Half the rhubarb stays in chunks, the other half is mashed with a fork to make a puree (the replacement for the jam in a bakewell):

I chose to boost the almond by making an almond shortcrust pastry; you could just make your preferred classic shortcrust recipe if you wish – this one’s all about the filling!

If you’re pushed for time, you could roast the rhubarb and make the pastry (keeping it uncooked in the fridge) the day before.  There’s nothing tricky here but there are a few stages and ‘waiting for things to cool’ periods!

For the rhubarb:
500g rhubarb – cut into short lengths i.e about 2cm
75g sugar
For the almond shortcrust pastry:
170g plain flour
60g ground almonds
110g unsalted butter, cold
50g icing sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cold water
For the frangipane:
150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
150g caster sugar, plus an extra teaspoon for sprinkling
100g ground almonds
2 eggs
½ teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
50g plain flour
Handful of flaked almonds for scattering on top
To serve: thick cream; I chose clotted.  If you serve the tart warm then custard or ice cream

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
Place the rhubarb on a baking sheet and sprinkle the sugar over it.
Bake for 20-40 minutes, or until the rhubarb is soft but still holds its shape.  Mine was garden rhubarb so took 40 minutes, forced rhubarb is thinner and will take less time.
Leave to cool, then tip into a dish – juice and all.  You can do this the day before making the tart if you wish (I made it all the same day).
While the rhubarb is cooling, make the pastry: Place the flour and ground almonds in a food processor and briefly pulse until they are combined.
Add the butter, diced into small cubes, and blitz until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor you can use the rubbing in method.
Add the sugar and blitz briefly.
Add the 2 egg yolks and water and pulse the processor until the dough just starts to come together.
Tip the dough out onto a sheet of clingfilm and bring together into a soft ball.
Flatten the ball into a disc shape (this will make rolling out easier) and wrap in the clingfilm.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
Roll the chilled pastry out between two sheets of clingfilm and use to line a 23cm loose bottomed round flan tin. No need to grease the tin as the pastry is buttery enough not to stick. It is very important that your pastry has no holes in it so patch carefully if need be! Don’t trim the pastry yet – leave the excess hanging over the side.
Line the pastry with a sheet of baking paper and weigh down with some baking beans.
Bake the pastry case for 15 minutes, then remove the beans and paper and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
Leave the pastry case to cool and, when cool, trim off the excess pastry.  I use a serrated bread knife as I find it doesn’t tear at the pastry and I have more control.
Return to the cooled rhubarb and pick out about half the number of pieces and place on a plate.  These will go on top of the tart so pick nice pink pieces!
Tip almost all the baking juices away and mash the remaining rhubarb to a puree.  This won’t be tricky as the rhubarb is soft and a fork should be up to the job!
Put both lots of rhubarb to one side.
Now make the frangipane filling: Place all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat until whippy and combined.
Spoon the pureed rhubarb into the bottom of the pastry case.
Spread the rhubarb puree on top and ensure it is evenly spread out – there should be just enough to cover the base; any more than this and the tart will be too sloppy.
Spoon the frangipane onto the rhubarb puree and spread ensuring that it forms a seal with the pastry so no puree will bubble up during cooking.
Arrange the reserved rhubarb pieces on top of the frangipane.
Scatter over a handful of flaked almonds, then finally sprinkle over a teaspoon of sugar.
Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the frangipane comes out clean.
Leave to cool, in the tin, on a wire rack – only remove from the tin just before serving.
Serve either warm with ice cream or custard, or at room temperature with cream.
Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have made.


Gloria Baker said...

Love this type of tart look amazing!

MissCakeBaker said...

Absolutely love rhubarb. This looks delicious.

Baking Addict said...

This looks delicious and seasonal. I like how you made a rhubarb puree and more almonds in the crust.

Caroline said...

Well, your description of the way the rhubarb and frangipane contrast has made me seriously crave this tart! It sounds amazing!

Choclette said...

Oh love the idea of the tart rhubarb and sweet frangipani filling. I've never had forced pink rhubarb, so don't know if I'm missing anything or not, but I'm quite happy with common old garden rhubarb.

Jo said...

What a delicious looking tart. I love the sound of extra almond flavour in the pastry too.

Sarah-Jane - said...

fab idea. Lovely new twist on a traditional bakewell.

Minnie Kitchen said...

DElicious! I love rhubarb!!

Victory Rolls & Mixing Bowls said...

I still have yet to try rhubarb....This looks lovely though fitting for a cold weekend!

Nom! x

Anonymous said...

this looks delicious!

Snowy said...

What a great idea. I love rhubarb too!

Becca said...

A big thank you for sharing this recipe, I made the tart at the weekend & it was delicious, what a great flavour combo.

Victoria said...

This looks incredible!!! *drool*

morri said...

I was extremely apprehensive about this tart. It contains a number of my favourite things (rhubarb, almonds and more rhubarb), so I knew it was probably a winner, but... I've already made a bakewell tart once, from Gregg Wallace's recipe, no less, and it came out tasting like sweet scrambled eggs. It would be a shame to waste so much work and a good half a kilo of rhubarb for sweet-rhubarb-scrambled eggs, right? But I still wanted to try it.

The result? This recipe IS a winner, hands down. It tastes like the favourite comfort food of the god of pastries. I literally couldn't believ how well it turned out. With a good pot of tea I could probably eat the whole pan all by myself :D

Two things, though. I cut down the amount of sugar I put in with the rhubarb, only adding 40 g. And it was plenty, any more would have been way too sweet. The pastry and frangipane are very sweet by themselves, so I wanted the rhubarn to provide a nice contrast. And the frangipane was definitely wobbly after 45 minutes in the oven, the toothpick just wouldn't come out clean. I ended up baking the tart for well over an hour.