Rhubarb is such a delicious treat made all the more special by its short season. While growing up I didn’t really appreciate the sweet-tart flavor of rhubarb but these days I can’t get enough of it! But rhubarb and pastry crust can be a tricky combo to bake with, all of those who have had a soggy mess when trying to bake with rhubarb pie raise their hands!
I recently came across a brilliant solution to getting a perfectly crisp crust with a lovely rhubarb filling and have to share this most simple addition to the rhubarb + pie crust baking process. It is as easy as stirring the rhubarb with sugar, putting in the refrigerator for several hours to rest and then straining. Yup, it is that simple. And it ensures a nice flaky crust that isn’t bogged down by all of that juice that the rhubarb let go over while resting in the fridge. You can then use that juice to boil down into a pretty little syrup to drizzle over the rhubarb in your tart or pie.
The rustic tart recipe I found this trick in is perfect for a farm to table dessert. It is so simple that it allows the ingredients to shine, so pick out some super fresh rhubarb while it is still in season and enjoy!
Rustic Rhubarb Tarts
Adapted from Canning For a New Generation
Makes 4 generous individual tarts
- 1 1/2 pounds rhubarb, cut into 1/2″ slices
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1/2 recipe of your favorite pie dough
- unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
Put the sliced rhubarb in a larger bowl and add the granulated sugar. Split the vanilla bean, scrape the seeds into the bowl and nestle the pods in the rhubarb. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Turn the rhubarb out into a colander set over a small saucepan and stir gently to drain as much of the liquid as possible. Return the rhubarb to the bowl and add the lemon juice, flour and cinnamon (if using).
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
Divide the dough into 4 pieces and roll them out on a floured work surface until 1/8″ thick. If you prefer your edges a bit more polished, cut an 8″ round from each. Divide the rhubarb mixture among the rounds, piling it high in the center. For each tart, fold the edges of the dough up over the filling towards the center leaving about 2 inches circumference, pleating it and making sure any tears in the dough are pinched closed.
Dot the exposed filling with butter, brush the edges of the dough with milk, and sprinkle all over with the turbinado sugar.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, until well browned and bubbly. While the tarts are baking, put the saucepan with the liquid from the rhubarb over high head and boil until the syrup is reduced by half (careful to not cook too long or it will harden!), set aside to cool.
When you remove the tarts from the oven, spoon some of the reduced syrup over the filling in each tart. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Optional: serve with a touch of plain Greek yogurt that has been sweetened with a bit of honey.