While Europe is still shaking from the Brexit, and I can already hear anti-English comment coming out of nowhere. Let us be clear, as much I am sadden by this symbolic rejection vote, I do not like to hear the people of my country of adoption being called names when they were merely exercising their right to vote in this referendum. And the fact that the election results did not please everyone does not make it an anti-democratic vote. Anyway, as always, I hate extremist reactions, from any side they might come from.
To get out of the debate this English way, I want to share with you a recipe that sums up everything I love in England: a rhubarb tart made with rhubarb stalks offered by English friends who grow it themselves in their garden. I was inspired by the design of a BBC Good Food recipes – I always love their recipes. I followed their instructions to cook the rhubarb – no peeling involved which much appreciated and did not show when eating. I have added my French touch by transforming using an almond cream for the base of this rhubarb tart, which happened to be incredibly good and balanced, zingy and not too sweet.
Baked in a rectangle tin, with the rhubarb stalks well aligned, I love the look of this tart. It’s nice recipe which I am sure will be able reconcile us with our English friends. Anyway here, everyone was unanimous, even the French who had never eaten rhubarb before!
Cook time: 25mn
- a 11x35cm* rectangle tart tin
- 250g flour
- 150g very cold salted butter, cut in cubes
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 750g rhubarb stalks (try to choose the same diameter) **
- 1 vanilla pod
- 75g sugar
- 45cl water
- the juice of one lemon
- 1 egg
- 60g ground almonds
- 50g butter
- 50g sugar
- Wash the rhubarb, cut off the ends and cut the stalks into sticks of 11cm long.
- Split the vanilla pod, remove the beans and set aside for the almond cream. In a saucepan, over low heat the water, sugar, filtered lemon juice and the empty vanilla pod until the sugar is fully dissolved. When the sugar is dissolved, add the sticks of rhubarb and heat gently for exactly 4 minutes (no more otherwise the rhubarb begins to fall apart).
- Remove pan from heat and cool for at least 1 hour. By doing this way, the rhubarb is perfectly cooked but keep its shape. Once the syrup has cooled down, retrieve carefully rhubarb sticks with a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper towel.
- Put the butter, flour and brown sugar in the bowl of a food processor and blend the mixture until it is sanded. Add the beaten egg and mix again until dough forms ball. Roll out the pastry between 2 sheets of baking paper and put in the refrigerator for 20mn to cool.
- Roll out a little more if needed and lay the pastry in the tin. Prick the pastry with a fork and set aside in the refrigerator while you prepare the almond cream. Preheat oven to 200 °.
- Melt the butter and let it cool a few moments. In a bowl, whisk the egg and sugar until pale. Add the melted butter, seeds from the vanilla pod and ground almonds and mix gently.
- Fill with the pie shell with the almond cream and smooth with the back of a spoon. Bake for 25 minutes at 180°C, turning the tin halfway, until the almond cream is golden. The almond cream will expand and fill pie shell so there is no need to blind-bake the pie beforehand. Take out of the oven and allow to cool before filling rhubarb.
- Gently place the rhubarb sticks regularly on the almond cream. Serve the tart warm or cold with heavy cream or vanilla ice cream on the side.
** If your rhubarb is not very red, you can cheat by adding a touch of pink or red food colouring in syrup when cooking the rhubarb.