Strawberry Rhubarb Bakewell Tart

Happy Memorial Day a week late! For pretty much my entire life, this holiday has included the local Memorial Day parade which is nothing amazing, but it's tradition and I enjoy it. A lot of local businesses, schools, churches, organizations make up this event which is basically a huge ad. But I love it! And they throw candy!! :) After the parade, my family and I have been getting together with a group of good family friends for brunch which typically includes homemade waffles and whatever else people want to bring. This is usually a good time to try out a new recipe, see how it goes over with a crowd. This year I decided to go seasonal and picked a rhubarb recipe; a strawberry rhubarb Bakewell tart. A Bakewell tart is an English pastry made up of a shortcrust pastry shell with jam and frangipane. This one used strawberry jam and then topped everything with fresh rhubarb, the best combination!

I had such a fun time making this tart. I loved layering the beautiful pink rhubarb in a herringbone pattern on top of the delicious frangipane. There are quite a few different components to this dish. None of them are especially difficult, but it does take some time to put together. I found that the amount of frangipane that this recipe made was too much from my tart pan. When making this again, I would probably cut back to 3/4 of the frangipane recipe, or even 2/3, as my frangipane overflowed all over the place. Good thing I had a baking sheet underneath the tart pan! You can see the explosion in the pictures below! It still turned out well after a little bit of clean up, no problem, just a little messy!

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The saddest part of this whole Memorial Day party post is the fact that I didn't even make it to any of the festivities. I drove to my parents house in the morning to watch the parade, but as soon as I got there I was contacted by the hospital. I was on call on Memorial Day and had to turn right around and go to the hospital where I spent the next 5 hours. Sigh. I missed the parade and brunch. My sister brought my tart to lunch so everyone else could enjoy, but I did not get to join in the party. I was super bummed. But such is life. At least I got to have a fun time putting it all together!

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Strawberry Rhubarb Bakewell Tart
Adapted from Broma Bakery
Ingredients
For the Tart Shell (pate sucree)

  • 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

For the rhubarb

  • 500 grams rhubarb, cut into short lengths (bias cut if using “herringbone” pattern on top)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 small orange, zested and 2 tablespoons juice
  • 8 ounces Strawberry preserves

For the frangipane

  • 12 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (100 grams) ground almonds
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons all purpose flour

Directions
For the pate sucree: With paddle attachment cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until fluffy then beat in the egg yolks, one at a time, until fully incorporated into the mixture. Mix in the flour until it comes together as a ball of dough being careful not to overmix and then, by hand finish incorporating flour remaining at bottom of bowl.|

Form into a dis and wrap the pastry then chill for 30 minutes, but up to 1 day.

When ready to bake: Roll out, between cling wrap and fit into standard sized tart shell. Prick the dough (and rechill if it has warmed up too much) and then using baking beads or rice, blind bake at 350°F until the dough is golden brown (about 20 min).

Toss the rhubarb with sugar, orange juice, and orange zest. Let sit in fridge (up to overnight).
Spread strawberry jam over bottom of par cooked shell.

For the Frangipane: Beat together the sugar, butter, almonds, eggs, almond extract, baking powder, salt and flour until creamy. Spoon the mixture over the strawberry-rhubarb purée.

Arrange the rhubarb on top of the frangipane. If using the herringbone method, place rhubarb accordingly. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until golden and risen. Cool in the tin until warm. 

French Apple Tart

I had the opportunity to celebrate my very first friendsgiving this weekend and I had such a good time! Any excuse to get together with friends and celebrate is a good idea in my book. I got together at my friend Lindsay's condo to eat good food, have great conversation, and just enjoy being together before the busyness of the holiday season really picks up steam. We had a lovely meal, the main event being one of my all-time favorites, roasted chicken with clementines and fennel. Of course I had to make a dessert, and I decided to try my hand at a simple and elegant French Apple Tart. seasonal and beautiful in an understated way. It was the perfect way to end such a wonderful meal. 

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Of course I had to use local Jonagold apples from my favorite stand at the farmers market and they were perfect. The whole thing came together quite easily, and was fun to arrange. I made a frangipane to place under the apples which I think was a nice touch, but you can certainly make this without. Whatever you decide, apples, butter and sugar are always going to be a winning combination. 

 
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French Apple Tart
Adapted from Alexandra Cooks
Ingredients
Pate Brisee

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. table salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons ice water

Tart

  • 5 to 7 apples, peeled, cored, and halved (I used jonagold, but really any apple will do)
  • 2-4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter

Frangipane

  • 3/4 cup almonds
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
  • 1 small egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla, rum, brandy or bourbon

For finishing:

  • Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving

Instructions
Making the pastry: Combine flour, sugar, 8 tbsp. butter, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until pea­-size crumbles form, about 10 pulses. Drizzle in 3 tbsp. ice­-cold water and pulse until dough is moistened, about 3 to 4 pulses. (Do not pulse so much that the dough forms a mass — It will clump together when you form it into a disk.) Add more water if needed, but use as little as possible, just until the dough is just coming together. If you add too much water it will be tough and will shrink when baking. Transfer dough to a work surface and form into a flat disk; wrap it in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to three days. When ready to use, transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, flatten dough into a 13″ circle and then transfer to a tart pan with a removable bottom; trim edges; chill for at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile make frangipane: add all ingredients to a food processor and process until comes together into a smooth mass. This may take a little time and require some scraping down the sides of the food processor from time to time. Be patient and it will eventually come together. 

When ready to bake; heat oven to 375º. Spread a thin layer (about 2 tablespoons) of frangipane across the bottom surface of your tart shell. Working with one apple half at a time, thinly slice into sections, keeping slices together. Press sliced apple half gently to fan it out; repeat with remaining apple halves. Place 1 fanned apple half on outer edge of the tart dough, pointing inward; repeat with 7 more apple halves (or as many as you are able to fit — with a smaller tart pan, you won't be able to fit as many). Separate remaining apple slices. Starting where the apple halves touch and working your way in, layer apples to create a tight rose pattern. Fill in any gaps with remaining apple.

Sprinkle with sugar and dot with remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Place in the oven (I recommend placing a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil underneath the tart to catch any dripping butter that may otherwise fall to the bottom of the oven and burn) and bake until golden brown, about 70 minutes. Let cool completely before removing from pan and carefully transferring to serving platter. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry season is basically over, this is always a sad realization to me since strawberries are my favorite fruit. I love buying a couple quarts at the farmers market and then stuffing my face full of sweet, juicy berries because we all know that freshly picked strawberries last about a day before they start going bad. To me this means I am required to eat as many as possible because I can't let any of these early summer jewels go to waste. This is a task I attack with pleasure.

This year I definitely did my share helping out the local strawberry farmers. This sometime required me to become creative with the baskets and baskets lining my counter. I had a wonderful time figuring out what to do with all of my strawberries, what a fantastic problem! When my neighbor called and told me she had rhubarb galore and I needed to come take some off of her hands I jumped at the opportunity. I had never made a strawberry rhubarb pie, but that was all about to change. Strawberry and rhubarb are my favorite combination. The juicy sweetness of the strawberries combined with the puckering tartness of the rhubarb is a match made in heaven. I'm already looking forward to next year!

While I've been making more pies and tarts recently, I still would definitely call myself an amateur. I'm getting better, but I still have things I need to work on. Regardless, this pie turned out absolutely delicious, even if it lacks a little in the looks department. I like to think of it as rustic. In the end it really doesn't matter what the pie looks like, the most important thing is what it tastes like, and this one did not disappoint.

Note: This is a rough estimate of my strawberry rhubarb pie recipe. It was delicious, but it could definitely have used more filling, both strawberries and rhubarb. Feel free to play around with the quantities, increasing the filling until you are satisfied with it.

For the topping: this time around I didn't melt the butter, but for future use I probably would. I think you get bigger chunks of streusel then. Also, if you are a big streusel fan (like me) you'll want to increase the amount of streusel. Try doubling it perhaps!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Ingredients

Pie

  • 1/2 recipe Pate Brisee (or your favorite pie dough)
  • 1 3/4 cup chopped rhubarb
  • 4 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons Yukon Jack Liquor (or whatever you happen to have in your cupboard, this was what was in mine!)

Topping

  • 3 tablespoons room temperature butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • pinch salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make the filling: Mix together rhubarb, strawberries, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, and liquor. Set aside.

Make the crust: Roll out pate brisee to a 1/8-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Place in refrigerator or freezer for 15-30 minutes, until well chilled. 

Drain excess juice from the rhubarb/berry mixture. Pour filling into chilled pie crust. Bake pie for 45-55 minutes, until crust is well browned. Remove from oven and cool. Enjoy with vanilla ice cream or lightly whipped cream. 

Almond Peach Tartlets

After making my Tomato Tart last week I had a good chunk of tart dough leftover. Not wanting to waste any of this buttery goodness I pressed the pieces I had left into a few mini tart pans and threw them in the freezer. This week I had a few peaches sitting on the counter just crying out to be used. What to do? Then, what do you know, the King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion magazine showed up in the mail with a recipe for an almond tart. Out of all of this inspiration these peach tartlets appeared. It was the perfect solution to a very wonderful problem!

I took the recipe for the almond tarts and added some delicious peaches. I love the combination of almond and peach so I knew this was going to be good. I spread the peaches on the chilled crust and then topped with the filling. It worked out quite well, but when I try it again I would try to remember to save a few peach slices to lay on top of the filling too. This would make the finished product look even better I think. But they were still delicious as they were. This is a great versatile tart that I can think will be the perfect starting point for many other delicious tarts this summer!

Almond Peach Tartlets

Adapted From 

King Arthur Flour

Ingredients

Filling

  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) soft butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Flour
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups almond flour or finely ground sliced or slivered almonds
  • 3-4 peaches, cut into slices

Glaze

  • 1 cup glazing sugar or confectioners' sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Directions

You'll need to start with 6 mini tart pans filled with your favorite tart/pie dough. I used some leftover  Pate brisee, but whatever you like will work. (Here's the easy press in press in crust that King Arthur Flour suggests)

To make the filling: Beat together the butter, salt, sugar, flour, and extracts. Beat in the eggs, then add the almond flour, stirring just to combine.

Lay sliced peaches onto the well chilled crust. Spread the filling over the peaches.

Bake the tarts for 18 to 24 minutes, until their tops are lightly browned. Remove from the oven, and cool in the pans.

To make the glaze: Stir together the sugar and milk until smooth.

Spread the glaze over the cooled tarts. Top with some whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream if desired.

Yield: 6 mini tarts.

Tomato Tart

While it's not tomato season yet in Michigan, the farmers market is starting to have some very nice greenhouse tomatoes that are actually pretty good. I've picked up a few over the last couple weeks and have been quite happy with them, on sandwiches or salads. Over the winter I've forgotten how much I love having fresh tomatoes around, they are so useful and so delicious. They may not be fresh from the garden, still warm from the sun tomatoes, but I am happy with them for now, and they worked perfectly in this tomato tart.

This tart is basically just a pizza in a different form, and it was delicious. Spreading an entire head of roasted garlic on the crust is a brilliant start. Since I had mozzarella in the freezer, I used that instead of the Fontina which was called for. I would have loved to use Fontina, but the mozzarella was still very good. Fresh basil on top was the perfect finishing touch. I thought this tart was just wonderful, and I can't wait to make it again with my very own tomatoes, fresh from the garden.

Tomato Tart

From Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook

Ingredients

  • 1 head garlic
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • All purpose flour for dusting
  • 1/2 recipe Pate Brissee (recipe follows)
  • 3/4 cup grated Fontina or mozzarella (about 3 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe but firm tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • course salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 12 fresh basil leaves

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the garlic on a piece of foil; drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Fold the foil up around the garlic, sealing the edges, and place on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven until golden brown and the tip of a sharp knife easily pierces the flesh, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees. When garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the clovees out of their skins and into a small bowl, mash with fork and set aside.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 13 inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Fit the dough into a 10 inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom, pressing into the edges. Using a rolling pin or a sharp paring knife, trim dough flush with the top edge of the tart pan; chill tart shell until firm, about 30 minutes.

Spread roasted garlic evenly on the bottom of the chilled shell. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Arrange the tomato slices in an overlapping circular pattern on top of the cheese, working from the out edge toward the center. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese, and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil.

Reduce oven temperature to 425 degrees. Bake tart until crust is golden and tomatoes are soft but still retain their shape, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes. Thinly slice basil leaves lengthwise. Sprinkle tart with basil, and serve warm.

Pate Brisee

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup ice water, plus more if needed

Directions

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt; pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pieces remaining, about 10 seconds. (To mix by hand, combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then cut in butter with a pastry blender or two fork.)

With the machine running, add the ice water through the feed tube in a slow, steady stream, just until the dough holds together with out being wet or sticky. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Test by squeezing a small amount of the dough together; if it is still to crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface. Divide in half, and place each half on a piece of plastic  wrap. Shape into flattened disks. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour, or overnight. The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month; thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.

French Silk Pie

Thanksgiving's over and the Christmas season is officially upon us. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty excited! But before all festivities begin I have to share what I made for Thanksgiving dessert this year. My whole family went to my grandparents place this year and had a wonderful time. My mom, Lara and I were in charge of bringing a couple of different things, including dessert of course! When I was trying to think of what to bring, Lara reminded me of this French Silk Pie that we have been wanting to make. Chocolate, cream, eggs, butter and sugar lying gently on a flaky, buttery pie crust. The perfect complement to our fabulous Thanksgiving dinner. It was a big hit, and a great recipe to have in your arsenal when looking for a rich, chocolaty dessert.

This pie is basically a chocolate mousse in a crust. The buttery crust is a nice complement for the smooth chocolate filling. The eggs are cooked on the stove with sugar and water so if you get worried about things like raw eggs (I don't) you have nothing to fear in this recipe. After the eggs are cooked you add in the chocolate, the butter, and finally fold in the whipped cream. Nothing too difficult, it just takes a little time. Scrape the filling into the pie crust and slide the whole thing into the fridge overnight. The next morning your dessert is ready! If you want, you can finish it off with some whipped cream, or just dig in. Either way it will be delicious!

Baked and cooled pie shell

Getting everything ready

Cook those eggs

Add in the chocolate, and then the butter

Fold in the whipped cream

Keep folding

You're done when you can no longer

see any white streaks

Transfer filling to pie crust

and let chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours

Top with a little more whipped cream

All set to eat!

Chocolaty

And delicious!

French Silk Pie 
From Treats; originally from Cook's Illustrated
Ingredients

  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in to 1/2" cubes and softened
  • 1 pie shell (9-inch), baked and cooled (recipe below)

Directions
With electric mixer on medium-high speed, whip cream to stiff peaks, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer whipped cream to small bowl and refrigerate.

Combine eggs, sugar, and water in large heatproof bowl set over medium saucepan filled with ½ inch barely simmering water (don’t let bowl touch water). With electric mixer on medium speed, beat until egg mixture is thickened and registers 160 degrees, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and continue to beat egg mixture until fluffy and cooled to room temperature, about 8 minutes.

Add chocolate and vanilla to cool egg mixture and beat until incorporated. Beat in butter, a few pieces at a time, until well combined. Using spatula, fold in whipped cream until no streaks of white remain. Scrape filling into pie shell and refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours. Serve with lightly sweetned whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Foolproof Pie Crust

From

Treats

; originally from Cook's Illustrated

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups (6 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut in to 6 pieces
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, chilled and cut in to 2 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons cold vodka
  • 2 tablespoons cold water

Directions

Process 3/4 cups flour, salt, and sugar together in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogenous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 10 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds with some very small pieces of butter remaining, but there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining 1/2 cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.

Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Flatten dough into 4-inch disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on oven rack, and heat oven to 425 degrees. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out on generously floured (up to ¼ cup) work surface to 12-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll into pie plate, leaving at least 1-inch overhang on each side. Working around circumference, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Leave overhanging dough in place; refrigerate until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.

Trim overhang to ½ inch beyond lip of pie plate. Fold overhang under itself; folded edge should be flush with edge of pie plate. Flute dough or press the tines of a fork against dough to flatten it against rim of pie plate. Refrigerate dough-lined plate until firm, about 15 minutes.

Remove pie pan from refrigerator, line crust with foil, and fill with pie weights or pennies. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and weights, rotate plate, and bake for 5 to 10 minutes additional minutes until crust is golden brown and crisp.