… a bit of a mouthful to say but well worth the effort to eat… I love it when rhubarb season shoves it’s freshly-grazed-knee-pink hues into the season. I was a bit worried this year as we’ve had such cold weather I was concerned we’d have to wait an age before it started appearing and whilst my neighbour Tracey’s plant isn’t quite there yet there are some glorious examples of UK rhubarb in the shops… I picked up some delightfully thin and shockingly pink Yorkshire rhubarb this week and have been toying with what to bake ever since… and there are some mouth-watering rhubarb ideas out there in blog-land, i’m always amazed at just how versatile rhubarb is. Its sharpness works so well as a counter-balance to many sweet dishes but it also compliments meaty savoury dishes such as duck or venison really well too… roasted with chicken thighs is of course a firm favourite…
…one of my all time favourite blogs is Willow Manor written so beautifully by poet and artist (and rather fabulous cook) Tess Kincaid… her blog is such an inspiration and I often go over there just to have a little read… and feel truly humbled… she, too rarely for my liking, occasionally posts about food and yesterday created this incredible rhubarb shortcake masterpiece that i’ve essentially stolen for my own evil doings… it was the roasting in wine that really appealed to me and something id never done before so I thought i’d give it a go…
red wine roasted rhubarb frangipane tart
the tart is inspired by a Nigel Slater recipe for a greengage tart so i’m entering my version into the Nigel Slater inspired Dish of the Month bloggers challenge, hosted so beautifully by Janice from Farmersgirl Kitchen and Susan from A little bit of Heaven on a Plate. As you can see from the photo’s you have to really watch that the rhubarb doesn’t caramelise too much on its second turn in the oven. Mine has come out looking slightly charred but the taste was simply stunning… and so easy to achieve.
for the rhubarb in red wine (you can make this up to 3 days in advance)
500g trimmed rhubarb – cut into inch-long pieces
a small glug of red wine (half a cup)
a tablespoon of white sugar
a tablespoon of soft brown sugar
the seeds of one vanilla pod
for the pastry
200g plain flour
1 egg yolk
a little water
for the frangipane filling
125g caster sugar
2 large free-range eggs
150g ground almonds
40g plain flour
to make the rhubarb simply lay the stalks into a backing dish, cover in the wine, sprinkle with the sugar, scrape in the vanilla and bake on 150C for about 40 minutes or until just beginning to soften, take out of the oven and set aside to cool
to make the tart you will need a round 22cm tart tin and start with the pastry by rubbing the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs, add the egg yolk and a little water and bring together into a ball of dough. Flour your work surface and roll the dough out so that it’s just larger than your tart tin then gently place it into the tin, shaping and trimming it carefully. Place the tin in the fridge for at least 20 mins whilst you heat the oven to 200C.
use some screwed up baking paper to line the pastry and fill with baking beans before baking for about 20 minutes… remove the beans and paper and bake for a further 5 mins until the pastry is dry. Remove from the oven.
now make the frangipane filling by creaming the butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric whisk, next add the eggs, ground almonds and flour and whisk it all together until you have a thick creamy consistency
pour the thick frangipane batter into the pastry case and smooth it out. Arrange the rhubarb on the top and then bake on 160C for 30 mins until the filling puffs up around the rhubarb.
the red wine can be reduced into a delightful thick syrup by boiling for a couple of minutes, this can be added to greek yoghurt for a divinely decadent accompaniment.
eat and of course, enjoy!