Reader Selected: Rhubarb Tartlets

What? It’s not April anymore? Already a week into May, you say? 

I wish I had an amusing anecdote to tell you what has prevented me from blogging all week. Unless you find grocery shopping and going out to eat exciting, well, no, I guess that’s not very exciting. I did watch American Idol (the one show I am semi-devoted to. We went to the gym a few times. Oh, and we took our engagement photos! But I don’t have any to show you just yet. It was fun though.

But I finally made time to sit down and share this recipe with you. It would be somewhat ironic if it took me until after rhubarb season to tell you how to make rhubarb tarts…But, you know, if you are interested in preserving your rhubarb so that you can make these treats on in through the summer and fall, just wash your rhubarb when you get it, trim off any ugly ends, and chop into 1-inch pieces. I’m storing mine in quart size freezer bags marked with the date. Easy peezy.

Rhubarb Tartlets (adapted from Simply in Season by Cathleen Hockman-Wert and Mary Beth Lind)
Yum Factor: Alex – 8.4, Jessalyn – 8

 

Make the crust:
– 1 cup flour

– 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and diced
– 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1. Mix together using a pastry blender, the paddle setting on mixer, or even your fingers. Looking for the butter to coat all the flour and exist in pieces no larger than peas. Gently press the mixture into tart pans (for these mini ones, this amount of crust will make 4 tarts). The heat from your hands will melt the butter enough that it will hold together. 

Luckily, these tarts are delicious, cute, and quick. You don’t need to pre-bake the crusts.

2. Preheat the oven to 425F.

Make the filling:
– 2 eggs, separated

– 1 cup sugar (or mixture of brown and white)
– 3 tablespoons flour or cornstarch
– pinch of salt
– pinch of fresh-grated lemon zest
– 1 bundle rhubarb, diced up like celery
3. Beat the egg whites into stiff peaks in a clean bowl.

4. Beat the eggs yolks together. Add the sugar, flour, salt, and lemon zest. Stir in the rhubarb. Gently fold in the egg whites.

5. Pour the filling into the prepared tart shells and bake at 425F for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350F (without opening the oven door), and bake for 20-30 minutes or until set (i.e., they don’t jiggle).

You could make these in mini-tart pans, a normal 9″ tart pan, or even a 13x9x2″ baking pan if that’s what you’ve got (if you go that route, you may want to consider doubling the recipe, though). 

Hey, you know what goes good with rhubarb? Strawberries. It’s overdone, maybe, but come springtime, there’s nothing sweeter. The strawberry plants that we have in a pot on our patio are getting heavy with green berries. I found one half-red one the other day, but a bird beat me to it. There is one more that has turned red and should be ready very soon. I’ve only found good greenhouse strawberries at the farmer’s market. Maybe soon I will have strawberries coming out of my ears.

Are you a rhubarb fan? Does it scare you? If you’ve never eaten it before, don’t eat it raw. Rhubarb is for baking for sure. But if you have rhubarb coming out of your ears, check out this website for ideas for using it up (click on Rhubarb Recipes to expand the list of recipes). And thanks for voting in my reader-selected recipe post. What’s the craziest (read: crazy weird or crazy delicious) thing you’ve ever made with rhubarb? Do tell.

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