On the list of produce that my boyfriend “doesn’t believe in”, rhubarb is pretty high up there, along with Meyer lemons, ramps, fiddlehead ferns, persimmons, and pretty much anything that us food bloggers go crazy for but that the population at large can barely even conceive of.
I mean, sure, everyone has heard of strawberry rhubarb pie but if asked to choose a stalk out of a lineup or identify it’s flavor in any other context, it would be a pretty scant group of folks who could do it with repeatedly accurate and consistent results. Beginner’s luck notwithstanding.
So you can imagine his confusion and disbelief when I told him I was making a rhubarb curd tart to bring to his family’s Easter celebration last weekend.
I think, actually, he laughed and said, “No you’re not.”
Followed up by a “But really, what are you making?”
No, but really I’m making a rhubarb curd tart.
Eye roll. “Okay, whatever, just surprise me I guess.”
He believed in it a lot more after I hit him over the head with a stalk of it. I’ll tell you that much.
Anyways, even though I’m not quite sure his family knew what they were eating, this tart got rave reviews by everyone who tasted it, with one of The.Boy’s uncles even going so far as to tell me that it was best dessert he’d ever eaten. High praise.
And really, it was quite good. The rhubarb curd is just the perfect amount of sweet-sour and while the strawberry-rhubarb flavor combination is there, it’s the rhubarb that really shines, which rarely happens in other dessert applications of this vegetable.
Not to mention that it’s a head turner. I mean, seriously, how pretty are those layers of strawberries? They’d make me look twice.
And – bonus – I think the.boy now finally believes in it. One veggie down, only….lots….to go.
One year ago…Chocolate Raspberry Tart, Pan-Fried Asparagus with Ramps, Lemon and Fried Eggs
Two years ago…Salmon Baked in a Foil Parcel with Green Beans and Pesto
Three years ago…Mac and Cheese with Roasted Pork, Goat Cheese, Rosemary and Fiddlehead Ferns
Four years ago..Roasted Haddock with Green Beans and Asian Cilantro Sauce
Rhubarb Curd Shortbread Tart with Fresh Strawberries
Makes 1 (9-inch) tart, adapted from Cook This Now
For the shortbread tart crust:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 12 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
For the rhubarb curd:
- 10 oz rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, chopped into pieces
- about 2 cups strawberries, thinly sliced
- For the crust, combine the flour, confectioner’s sugar, salt, and cardamom in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter cubes and process just until a crumbly dough forms.
- Scrape the dough into a 9-inch tart pan and, using your fingers, press the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 325. Line the tart dough with foil and fill with pie weights or baking beans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until crust is light golden brown.
- While the crust is baking, make the curd. Puree the rhubarb in a food processor until totally smooth, about 2-3 minutes, adding a bit of water if necessary, but really as little as possible. Pour into a strainer lined with a coffee liner and strain the rhubarb juice into a bowl. You could also use a cheesecloth to do this. You should get about 2/3 cup liquid.
- Set a metal bowl on top of a heavy-bottomed pan that is filled with 2 inches of simmering water. In the bowl, combine the rhubarb juice, sugar, egg yolks, eggs, and salt. Stir constantly with a whisk until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 18-20 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until it is dissolved.
- When the crust is ready, remove the foil and beans/weights. Lower the oven to 300. Pour the curd into the tart shell and smooth. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the curd is just set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least an hour or in the fridge overnight.
- Just before serving, top with the strawberries.