|Right Food for the Season - Late Spring|
|Written by Amanda Laskowski|
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”
Forget Christmas everyone, because right around now is actually the most wonderful time of the year. Snow is long gone, the temperatures are on their way up (and after this past Memorial Day weekend, maybe a little too far up), the coats and sweaters get put away and the shorts and skirts come out. And most wonderful of all, FARMER’S MARKETS ::insert giddy laugh here::
I’m incredibly lucky because I work basically across the street from the Dewey Square Farmer’s Market and I love being able to go during the middle of my work day and picking up some fresh produce, maybe a sweet or four, some fresh baked bread, even meat and cheese!
I also happen to live a bus ride away from the Harvard Square Farmer’s Market and on one particular Sunday while having a picnic with some friends we paid a visit. I had made some less than stellar strawberry rhubarb turnovers a week or two back and was itching to find some at the farmer’s market.
Well, kids, I struck gold. I practically shrieked with glee when I found tons of long and lovely rhubarb stalks. I greedily bought a huge bouquet to bring back home.
This time around I decided to go a more traditional route with a twist and went with a strawberry-rhubarb tart.
Strawberry rhubarb is one of those quintessential duos, like peanut butter and jelly, milk and honey, bread and butter. They are like the Batman and Robin of food duos. They are a pretty big deal.
I’m going to be honest, I didn’t have a lot of strawberry-rhubarb concoctions when I was growing up, as I was more of the straight and narrow good ol’ apple or blueberry pie. My husband, on the other hand, OBSESSED with strawberry-rhubarb. Ate it all the time. Which is pretty much why he demanded that I make a pie the next time I make something with strawberry-rhubarb in it.
Well, like a good wife, I obliged.
I made the filling the exact same way as I did when I bought my rhubarb from my local Whole Foods. My husband commented that the second batch turned out way better, and I agree. You just can’t beat good, locally grown food. Now, with strawberry season in full swing, my mouth was just exploding over the fresh local goodness.
Adapted from: The Galley Gourmet & America’s Test Kitchen
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
¼ teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick, very cold), cut into twenty-four 3/4-inch cubes
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour for dusting
Combine egg yolk, heavy cream and vanilla extract in a small bowl and set aside. In a food processor combine the flour, sugar and salt. Pulse to combine. Scatter butter over the flour mixture and pulse in 1-second increments about 15 times, or until the mixture resembles course meal. Then, with the machine running, pour in the egg mixture and process until the dough comes together, about 25 seconds. Place dough in the center of a large sheet of plastic wrap and wrap tightly. Press the dough into a 6” disk and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. At this point, make the filling. You can make the filling up to a few days in advance and just store in the refrigerator.
Strawberry Rhubarb Filling
2 cups sliced rhubarb
2 cups sliced strawberries
Juice from 1 lemon
¼ cup cornstarch
½ cup sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and sugars, set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine strawberries, rhubarb & lemon and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until the juices start to release. Stir in the sugar mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir until it reaches your preferred thickness. Remove from heat and let cool.
Back to the tart crust…
Remove disk from the refrigerator and lightly flour a large piece of parchment paper and place the disk on top. Place another sheet of parchment paper over the disk. Here comes the fun part.
Using a French rolling pin, pound the disk a few times to flatten. Then rolling from the center up or from the center down, flatten to about a 12 or 13” diameter, making sure to turn when necessary. If any cracks start to form, just patch back together with your fingers. Remove the parchment paper and flour slightly. Carefully gather the pie crust onto the rolling pin and unroll on the top the tart pan. Lifting the dough with one hand, gently press the dough into the side of the tart pan. Use any excess dough on sides that are too thin. Run the rolling pin over the top of the tart to remove excess dough.
Place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place the oven rack on the lower middle position. Remove tart pan from freezer and place on a baking sheet. Put a piece of aluminum foil over the top and fill the tart with either pie weights, dried beans, coins, or anything that will make sure that it covers the entire surface. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating halfway through.
Remove from oven and pour the rhubarb filling over the tart (don’t forget to remove the aluminum foil and weights) making sure to smooth the top. Sprinkle a tad more sugar on top.
Place in the oven for about 5-7 minutes longer, or until the filling is heated through.
Serve with whipped cream or ice cream, or both.
Amanda has lived in Massachusetts all her life and is proud of it. She currently lives in Brighton with her husband and cat and loves to bake, cook, and eat. She blogs over at Tales from A Kitchen Misfit where she talks about making and eating awesome food while giving a glimpse into her everyday life. She is currently enrolled in a Master's of Education program at Wheelock College and she hopes to become an elementary school teacher. She hopes that she can infuse the love of good, local and fresh food into her future students. If she's not baking or cooking she's usually traveling, knitting, running or practicing karate. This is Amanda's first article for Local In Season.