Rhubarb and Apple Tart

rhubarb and apple tart (yossy arefi)
rhubarb (yossy arefi)
rhubarb and apple tart (yossy arefi)
rhubarb and apple tart (yossy arefi)
rhubarb and apple tart (yossy arefi)
rhubarb and apple tart (yossy arefi)

I went to Seattle last week to visit family a couple of weeks ago where there was a birthday party for my littlest niece and I made two cakes...because first birthdays call for lots of celebration. She smiled and clapped as we sang Happy Birthday, and even tried to blow out the candle herself, adorable. Seattle was green and lush, my parents backyard chickens were in full on laying mode, trees popped with blooms, and there were plenty of signs of spring at the market. I ate a perfect cheeseburger from my favorite place that serves their sodas with pellet ice, the best ice. We went to the Ballard farmer's market on my last day in town and I almost bought a little rhubarb start to bring back and try to grow, but settled for a suitcase of Washington grown rhubarb stalks instead. I could see the TSA agents furrow their brows as my bag went through the X-ray machine, probably wondering what kind of crazy person would bring what looked like celery stalks on an airplane. 

Back in NY, we are still waiting for full-on Spring. Last week brought a few sunny warm days and there are finally little leaf buds on the trees outside of my kitchen window. There are !OMG RAMPS! at the Greenmarket, but it will be quite awhile before we get any real fruit. The combination of rhubarb and apples is perfect for this time of year, when the pickings are still slim, but there are still delicious apples and rhubarb (smuggled or otherwise) to work with. I've said it before, but galettes are my favorite type of tart: loose, messy, and fun. I like to bake galettes super dark so the bottom crust gets crispy enough that you can hold a slice like a piece of pizza and eat it with your hands. Dessert pizza, it's happening. 

Rhubarb and Apple Tart

This is a perfect tart for early Spring. Sweet vanilla mellows the tart bracing flavor of rhubarb in such a lovely way I have a hard time cooking rhubarb without it. I used a huge honey crisp apple here, but you can use any baking apple you like. Also, any pie crust you like for this tart, I have included a link to my favorite below. 

makes one 9-inch tart

1/2 recipe all butter pie crust or your favorite pie crust

8 ounces rhubarb

1 large baking apple, or 2 small ones

1/2 of a lemon

4 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon flour

1 vanilla bean

pinch salt

1 egg 

1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Slice the rhubarb into batons about 1/4-inch by 3-inches long. Slice the apple into thin slices, no need to peel it.

Use the tip of a knife to split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. In a small bowl combine the vanilla bean seeds and sugar. Use your fingers to rub the vanilla bean seeds into the sugar until well mixed. Save the vanilla bean pod for another use.

Roll out the pie crust to a 12-inch circle and transfer it to the parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the flour and one tablespoon of the vanilla bean sugar over the top. Lay the apple slices and rhubarb batons over the sugar in a slightly overlapping layer in a decorative pattern, leaving a 2-inch border around the edge. Sprinkle the remaining sugar along with a pinch of salt evenly over the fruit. Squeeze the lemon over the fruit too.

Fold the excess dough over the fruit and press gently to seal the folds. Put the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze the tart until the dough is very firm, about 15 minutes. While the tart is chilling, preheat the oven to 400ยบF and whisk the egg in a small bowl. 

After the tart has chilled, brush the dough with the beaten egg and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake the tart until deep golden brown, 35-45 minutes.

rhubarb and apple tart (yossy arefi)
rhubarb and apple tart (yossy arefi)

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs (yossy arefi)

Craft projects are not the usual subject matter of this blog, but I think we can all agree that these naturally dyed easter eggs are too beautiful to not share. There are a ton of in-depth tutorials for naturally dyed eggs online and I pulled information from many them, but this tutorial from The Kitchn is a good place to start if you are new to natural dyes. Better Homes and Gardens also has a great list of foods you can use as dyes.

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs (yossy arefi)
Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs (yossy arefi)
Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs (yossy arefi)
Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs (yossy arefi)

For the eggs in this post, I used three dyes: one made from shredded red beets (pink and maroon tones), one made from shredded purple cabbage (blue and green tones), and a mix of the two dyes (mauve and gray tones). I used both white and brown eggs which provided really beautiful, subtle color variations that I love. I also dyed some eggs yellow with turmeric, but the results were a bit pale so I didn't include them in these photos. You can also over-dye naturally green and blue eggs laid by Aracuna hens, which I have done in the past. The results are just stunning, but the eggs can be a bit pricey so I skipped it this year. 

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs (yossy arefi)

A quick announcement! This here blog was nominated for a Saveur Blog Award in the Best Baking & Desserts Category, and I am thrilled! Thank you to whoever nominated me! If you feel compelled, visit Saveur to vote for your favorites in all 13 categories. So many wonderful blogs (and people!) are up for awards, and I am honored to be among them. 

General Method for Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

You'll need about 1 cup of dye matter (shredded beets, shredded cabbage or check this post for more color options ) per 1 cup of water, and about 4 cups of dye per dozen eggs. Scale up or down depending on how many eggs you'd like to dye. Hot tip: Shred your beets in the sink to avoid spattering red all over your kitchen.

To prepare the dyes, combine the dye matter with the appropriate amount water in a saucepan, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-30 minutes. Check the dye occasionally for color, you want the liquid to be a couple of shades darker than your desired finished egg color. Strain the dye into a clean container and let it cool to room temperature. Add 1 tablespoon of white vinegar per 1 cup of dye. 

Meanwhile, hard boil your eggs and let them cool.

Arrange the cooked eggs in a container or containers (ideally in a single layer) and pour the dye over the top to submerge the eggs completely. Transfer the containers to the refrigerator, and let the eggs sit in the dye baths until they reach your desired color. I let my eggs sit for almost 24 hours. Remember that when the eggs dry they will be slightly lighter in color than when they are wet, like a stone picked up at the beach.

Carefully remove the eggs from the dye baths, give them a quick rinse, pat dry, and you're done! You can rub the eggs with a bit of vegetable oil to give them a sheen and enhance the color a bit if you like.

Now, who has a great recipe for deviled eggs?

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs (yossy arefi)