I love the tangy tartness of rhubarb. Of all the spring fruits, it just might be my favorite to bake with. But it’s not even really a fruit…
Did you know that rhubarb is actually a vegetable? Even weirder still, according to Wikipedia, here in America, where rhubarb is largely used as a fruit, a court ruling legally classified it as a fruit for regulatory purposes, thereby granting it a tax reduction. (I suspect that ruling had little to do with clarifying the usage and more to do with throwing businesses a bone i.e. a tax break. Such is the American way.)
I’ve been told that rhubarb grows wild in more northerly states
I always make this tart to kick off my rhubarb baking season. It’s dead simple and delicious.
adapted from Gourmet, April 2009
This tart is so good, it’s reason enough to make a batch of puff pastry, especially since the dough freezes well and any leftovers can be stashed for a later use. However, if you’re not in the mood to go through the labor intensive process of making puff pastry, the store bought variety that can be found in the freezer section works well too.
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (I used 3 medium sized Texas Valencia oranges)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 pound rhubarb stalks, thinly sliced diagonally (approximately 1/8 inch)
1 sheet puff pastry (thaw before use if frozen)
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
here. Or if you’re not into that, just pull out the box of frozen puff pastry you bought at the store, remove a sheet, and place it in the refrigerator to thaw out.
2. Prep all ingredients and when you’re ready to assemble the tart, preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit with a rack in the middle. Pour the freshly squeezed orange juice and lime juice into a medium large bowl and add sugar. Stir to mix well. Add the rhubarb slices to the juice/sugar mixture and allow it to marinate for at least 10 minutes.
3. Prep the puff pastry by cutting two rectangles and then roll out each piece into an 11-by 7-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface to a little more than 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the pieces to an ungreased large baking sheet and place them side-by-side. Use a thin paring knife to make a 1/2-inch border around each pastry rectangle making sure not to cut all the way through and use a fork to prick pastry inside the border all over.
4. Strain the rhubarb from the juice mixture and reserve the liquid. Arrange overlapping slices of rhubarb within the borders of each pastry rectangle. Bake the rectangles for approximately 30 minutes until puffy and golden.
5. While the pastry is in the oven, put the reserved juice mixture in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down slightly but allow the liquid to remain at a boil until reduced to about 1/4 cup. This may take up to 15 minutes depending on burner strength.
6. When fully baked, remove the tarts to a rack to cool slightly. Pour or brush the glaze over the tarts and sprinkle with orange zest. Use a pizza slicer to cut each rectangle into serving size pieces and eat immediately! Actually, the tart will keep in the refrigerator for a few days but the syrup will make the puff pastry a bit soggy. I’d advise reheating before serving if kept in the refrigerator.