As a child I found the bright pink colour of rhubarb thrilling, but was always so disappointed by how sour it was. As an adult I understand balance. Rhubarb is too tangy on its own, but perfectly compliments a sweet frangipane. I added cardamom which adds a lovely freshness to the rich, buttery almonds.
Nearly every time I make a tart I try a new pastry recipe. For this one I used Aaron’s Tart Dough from Samin Nosrat. Sturdy, easy to work with, delicious. Recommend. I also used her base recipe for the frangipane. I initially wasn’t sure about adding marzipan but once I tasted it I realised the genius – it’s almond MSG.
Samin said not to blind bake the tart shell but this made me nervous. After some Googling to see what other people do I decided to parbake it, which gave me a perfectly cooked crust.
Tart dough :
235g plain flour
25g caster sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
85g crème fraîche
2-4 tbsp ice water
130g blanched almonds, toasted to deep golden brown
6 tablespoons / 85g caster sugar
110g soft unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cardamom
30cm tart case, with removable bottom
Tart dough. Whisk together the flour, caster sugar, baking powder and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Freeze, in the bowl along with the butter and paddle attachment for 20 minutes.
Attach the bowl to the stand. With the speed on low add the butter, cube by cube. Mix until it has been incorporated but some chunks still remain, Samin says walnut sized pieces are okay. Add the chilled crème fraîche. If the mixture is too dry add some iced water. Go spoonful by spoonful until you reach the sweet spot. It’s okay if the mixture still looks crumbly and dry. Grab a handful and squeeze it. If it still crumbles add more water, if it sticks together stop. Tip the mix out onto a clean work surface and knead together using your hands. It’s okay if there are still some dry bits, while the dough is resting these will be absorbed. It looks like dough with a lotta cellulite, but that’s desirable. Shape into a disc, flatten slightly which makes it easier to roll out later, cover in cling film and refrigerate – at least 2 hours or up to 4 days.
Roll out and line your tart tin. Trim the edges, line with parchment paper and fill with baking beans. Bake at 190°C for 10 minutes, then remove the beans and paper and cook for a further 5. Set aside to cool.
Frangipane. In a food processor grind the almonds and sugar until dusty. I had a few chunks left in mine which was accidental but added a delightful crunch. Add the butter, mix until combined, followed by all the other ingredients, except the rhubarb. Mix until glossy and ribbony.
Spread the frangipane into the tart shell. It’s too stiff to pour, use the back of a spoon to spread it evenly. Arrange the rhubarb on top in the decoration of your choice.
Bake at 190°C for 35 – 40 minutes. Check it and turn it around after 20 to ensure even colouring. Remove from tart tin and once cool serve with lightly whipped cream.