Thursday, May 31, 2018

Strawberry-Rhubarb Tart with Sweet Walnut Crust

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Now that I have that piece of business out of the way, let's talk about this delicious strawberry-rhubarb tart, and the amazing sweet walnut pastry crust!

This beautiful spring-time tart was almost a disaster as the original recipe only called for 2 tablespoons of potato or cornstarch to bind it together (it didn't happen), but a little tweaking with the addition of unflavored gelatin, it turned into a tart that held together beautifully and tasted wonderful!

The best way to serve this tart is with a dollop of crème fraîche or sour cream.  You can find my post on how to make your own homemade crème fraîche (which is a lot cheaper than store bought!) by clicking here.

The sweet walnut crust alone is worth trying, even if you don't care for rhubarb desserts.  I can imagine so many delicious fillings in this pastry!  Chocolate would be my first choice :)  I think I foresee a post on that coming up!

It was an unusually hot Memorial Day weekend for the Midwest...90's farenheit with even hotter 'feels like' factor!  I seems like we went from winter, to monsoon season and then to mid summer in the month of May! Many of my early spring irises and Lily of the Valley flowers were roasted during the heat and sadly didn't last too long.  How has your weather been?

Strawberry-Rhubarb Tart in a Sweet Walnut Crust

Printable Recipe

Makes one 9-1/2 to 10-inch tart

Sweet Walnut Pastry (recipe below)

¾ cup sugar
Juice and grated zest of 1 large or 2 small oranges (4 tablespoons zest)
1 pound fresh rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons orange liqueur
2 tablespoons potato starch (I used corn starch)
2 pints red ripe, strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 packages unflavored gelatin, sprinkled over 1/3 cup cranberry or apple juice (or water)
½ cup strawberry preserves, heated until barely runny and strained
Crème fraîche or sour cream for garnish

For the walnut crust:

2 oz. (1/2 cup) finely chopped walnuts (food processor), toasted
6 oz. (12 Tbs.) butter, slightly softened
2 oz. (1/2 cup) confectioners’ sugar
1 large egg
7-3/4 oz. (1-3/4 cups) flour

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and confectioners’ sugar at high speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg; mix to combine. Lower the speed to slow and add the flour, mixing until barely combined. Add the walnuts and continue mixing, scraping the sides of the bowl, until the dough comes together. Divide the dough. Wrap the half you’ll be using in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Wrap the other half well in plastic and then in foil and freeze for future use.

Lightly oil a 9-1/2-inch tart pan or use a non-stick tart pan.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a round about 1/8 inch thick. Arrange it in the tart pan, trimming to fit. Line the crust with foil or kitchen parchment and weight with beans, pie weights or a smaller oven-safe pan that will fit inside.

Bake until the edge is light golden brown, about 20 minutes. Carefully remove the beans and foil and bake until the bottom is dry and light brown, about another 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

To Make the Filling:

Bring sugar, orange juice and zest to a boil in medium, heavy-bottomed non-reactive pot. Add rhubarb and return to a boil, shaking occasionally so rhubarb cooks evenly, but without stirring, which will break it up. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, or until rhubarb is soft. Add butter and shake to combine.

Whisk together liqueur and potato starch until smooth and stir into boiling liquid. Cook until mixture is clear and thickened, about 2 minutes. Fold in half the strawberries, remove pan from heat.

In a glass measuring cup, add 1/3 cup fruit juice or water. Sprinkle the 2 envelopes of unflavored gelatin over the top of the liquid and allow to sit for 1 minutes. Then microwave the gelatin mixture on high for about 30-40 seconds, stirring once. Then pour the hot gelatin over the hot fruit mixture and carefully fold the gelatin mixture and fruit mixture together until well combined. Allow to cool slightly.

Spoon filling into crust and top with remaining strawberries. Brush strawberries with preserves to make a shiny glaze and chill tart until set, about 2 hours. If you have leftover filling, you can put it in a small dish and refrigerate and enjoy on its own.

Serve topped with crème fraîche or sour cream.