Do I like sweets? I suppose I do, somewhat, but nothing that oozes sugar or makes your mouth and throat feel like it’s coated with a layer of sugar shellack. I was one of those kids that wanted the pack of tangy Spree’s over a chocolate bar and tried to see how many Sour Patch kids I could eat without taking a drink of water. I always did, and still do, love sweet tart treats. If there are tart desserts on a restaurant menu, you can bet that I’m going to be ordering dessert (which I don’t do very often since I’d rather use my calories on a glass of wine over a sugary dessert any day of the week). So when the first rhubarb begins to appear at the market, to say I’m happy is a bit of an understatement. This super simple rhubarb tart is the perfect balance between sweet and tart.
Growing up, my mom always had a big patch of rhubarb growing in the backyard (she still does). Once the stalks started turning pinkish red I knew she was going to be baking a strawberry rhubarb pie. Man I love those pies! As I got older, I realized the part that I really liked about it was the filling. So I got to the point where I would make up a batch of the filling and just eat it straight from the pot. Yes, I was strange even back then.
Craig, of course is not a fan of rhubarb desserts. Not even the strawberry rhubarb pie. “Too sour” he says. Of course, I’m fine with that because it means I get that much more of it (in fact, I think I’m the one who ate the entire pan of this plum and rhubarb crisp). I used to think that the only thing you could pair with rhubarb was strawberry. Like in this strawberry rhubarb sauce (which also gets made quite a bit around here). Yes, you can mix up some rhubarb and sugar all on its own, but it just tastes like it’s missing something. Now, I tend to mix up the rhubarb with raspberries.
I make up a warm pot of rhubarb and raspberries and use it to make tart desserts and a tangy topping for my breakfast. Some mornings that tangy kick wakes me up more than the pot of coffee I typically drink.
I started thinking about posting my mom’s rhubarb strawberry pie for today’s post but while it’s easy, it does take some time to make. So I found a recipe for a rhubarb tart on Epicurious that used a technique that I had never thought of before (slice the rhubarb super thin) and decided to mess with their recipe to make it something I would like better and then share it with you. (Yeah, I’m a giver like that.)
Some of this recipe is probably going to sound pretty weird, but trust me…you’re really going to like this. I can’t say that I converted Craig into a rhubarb desserts lover (because I dropped him off at the airport earlier this week…so I’m making the stuff that I like to eat while he’s gone), but my neighbor (who’s never had rhubarb before) loved it.
The thinly sliced rhubarb (I used my mandoline…with the glove this time so I didn’t cut my thumb off again), soaks in a liquid of ginger ale, raspberry preserves and brown sugar and soaks up a lot of those flavors. By reducing this liquid into a thick syrup, and then brushing it onto the rhubarb after it comes out of the oven, you get a nicely sweet glaze to top off the tart rhubarb.
Since there’s no ‘filling’ between the fruit and the pastry, you get a light yet flavorful rhubarb tart that you can have on the table in minutes.
Most things have two meanings.
Recipe: Rhubarb Tart with Ginger Raspberry Glaze
- 1/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Seedless Raspberry Preserves
- 1 Cup Ginger Ale
- 3/4 Pound Fresh Rhubarb (sliced into 1/8″ thick pieces)
- 1 Sheet of Puff Pastry (most packages of puff pastry have 2 sheets in them)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
- In a large bowl, whisk the brown sugar, preserves and ginger ale together.
- Put the rhubarb slices into the mixture and make sure that the pieces are submerged.
- Set this aside to soak for 30 minutes.
- Roll the pastry out to an 11″x17″ sheet then cut it in half, lengthwise, so that you have 2 narrow rectangles.
- Place each rectangle onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet (both should fit on one sheet).
- Using a sharp knife, gently score a 1/2″ wide border on all 4 sides (Do not cut through the pastry. This is just a line to guide you when you top the pastry.)
- Use a fork to dock (pierce holes) the dough inside the border you just outlined. Be generous with these holes. By docking the dough, you’ll be keeping the center flat and the border will puff up when you bake the tart.
- After the rhubarb has soaked for 30 minutes, begin to layer the pieces inside the lines of the puff pastry.
- Lightly overlap the pieces.
- Bake tarts for 30 minutes or until the pastry edges have puffed and are golden in color. The rhubarb slices should also look slightly dry.
- While the tarts are baking, transfer the ginger raspberry soaking liquid to a small pan and cook over medium high heat until it has reduced by half.
- When the tarts are done baking, remove them from the oven and gently brush (or dab) on the reduced ginger raspberry glaze onto the rhubarb. Don’t brush it on the crust.
- Let sit for 10 minutes, then slice.
- Serve plain or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Cut the rhubarb on a diagonal to get larger slices. If you slice it straight across, you will have a lot of little half moon slices and it will take you forever to line the dough with them.
You don’t have to line the baking sheets with parchment, but it makes removing the tarts much easier and you’re less likely to tear them. The tarts do stick a little to the sheets (you do not want to grease the baking sheets though).
After glazing the tart with the ginger raspberry syrup, you could further reduce it which would thicken it even more. Then you could use it as an ice cream topping, pancake syrup or to drizzle on toast.
Preparation time: 20 minute(s)
Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 6
Culinary tradition: USA (General)