Okay, I know. This tart is definitely not going to win any beauty contests. It's a bit brown and lumpy and the rhubarb I used here is a bit more green than Springy pink, but please don't be fooled by its very humble appearance. This tart is serious business.
It is a dessert for rhubarb lovers of the highest order. Barely sweet and fairly unadorned, aside from a bit of warmth from pink peppercorns, the tartness of the rhubarb really shines through. Before it was lovingly tucked into a nutty rye pastry, the rhubarb took a quick soak in sugar, vanilla bean and the aforementioned cracked pink peppercorns and since I'm not one to waste anything in the kitchen, I sweetened a bit of creme fraiche fortified whipped cream with the excess spiced rhubarb juices to serve alongside.
Oh, and that mess of a burger up there, it was dressed up Aussie style which means a menagerie of toppings from sliced beets and pineapple to a fried egg. It's another food that probably wouldn't place in a pageant, but that doesn't mean they weren't happily devoured by a hungry horde before tucking into my rhubarb tart with generous dollops of whipped cream.
Rustic Rhubarb Tart with Pink Peppercorn Cream and Rye Pastry
Rye Rough Puff Pastry
adapted from Kim Boyce's, Good to the Grain
yield, pastry for 1 large rustic tart or a single crust pie
I won't lie, the rye pastry takes a bit of work to put together but man is it good. It's my new favorite base for fruit desserts and if you stop by the blog later this week you'll see another rhubarb dessert wrapped up in rye (and custard and crumbs!).
4.5 ounces rye flour
4.5 ounces all purpose flour
1/8 ounce salt
1/2 ounce sugar
6 ounces cold butter cut into chunks
4 ounces ice water (may need a little less or more than this)
1t apple cider vinegar
1. In a large bowl, mix the flours, salt and sugar together. Add in the butter and quickly rub it into the flour mixture with your fingers. You want the butter to break up into small pieces the size of peas to lima beans.
2. Combine the water and apple cider vinegar in a measuring sup. Make a well in the flour/butter mixture and slowly stream the water into the dough while mixing gently. Mix until the water is evenly distributed and the dough holds together when you squeeze it. It will look dry, and that's okay, just as long as it holds together when you squeeze it. If it is too dry, add a bit more water.
3. Dump the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, gather the wrap tightly around the dough and refrigerate it for at least an hour or overnight.
4. After it has chilled, unwrap the dough and place it onto a lightly floured board. Pat the dough into a rough square, then roll it into an 8'' x 11'' rectangle. The dough will be a bit rough and crumbly and that's okay! With the long side of the dough facing you, gently fold the dough into thirds. Then turn the dough so the seam is at the top and parallel to your body. Repeat this process 2 more times then wrap the dough in plastic and chill for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days before using.
If the rolling/turning sounds confusing, here is a great photo tutorial for making rough puff pastry on Food52. Their method utilizes 6 "turns" of the dough, which isn't necessary for this recipe but it will give you a great idea of what the rolling process looks like.
Rhubarb Pink Peppercorn Filling
1 1/2 pounds rhubarb, cut into 3'' batons
5 1/4 ounces white sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and reserved
1/2t pink peppercorns, crushed with a mortar and pestle
Combine the rhubarb, sugar, vanilla bean seeds, pink peppercorns and salt in a medium bowl. Stir well to combine and let the mixture macerate for an hour.
To Assemble and Bake
1 egg yolk, for egg wash
1 ounce unsalted butter
2T turbinado sugar
Preheat oven to 350º
1. Roll the chilled pastry into a rough rectangle, about 12''x 20''. The pastry should be no more than 1/4'' thick. Place the rolled pastry on a parchment lined baking sheet.
2. Neatly arrange the rhubarb batons in the crust, leaving about 2'' at the edges to fold over. You will have some excess liquid leftover from the rhubarb macerating, reserve about 2 ounces of the syrup to flavor your whipped cream later.
3. Gently fold the excess crust over the rhubarb, making sure to seal the edges well over the rhubarb. IF the pastry seems soft, pop it into the fridge for a few minutes before proceeding.
4. Pour a few tablespoons of the macerating liquid over the rhubarb to moisten it and dot the top with butter. Brush the crust with egg wash and sprinkle the whole tart with the turbinado sugar. Slide into the oven and bake until the crust is a deep golden brown and very crisp, 60-70min.
5. If you have any macerating liquid left brush it on the still warm tart before you serve it, not too much though, you don't want it to get soggy. Serve warm with pink peppercorn cream on the side.
To Serve: Pink
8 ounces heavy cream
2 ounces creme fraiche
2 ounces reserved syrup
Whip the cream to soft peaks, then whip in the creme fraiche and add in the syrup to taste. Serve along side the warm rhubarb tart.