Whether you love or loathe Valentine’s Day, everyone falls for a good tart. This rhubarb & berry confection was intended to be an easy whip up (using frozen puff pastry and frozen rhubarb, I thought it would be a snap). In truth- a broken oven sent me to a friend’s for a borrow-a-kitchen favor, and it took rather longer than anticipated. Apt, I suppose- a labor of love for a lover’s celebration!
Along the way I discovered that this is an ideal baking session for a Saturday with the one(s) you love- mon ami was tickled pink to have a lady in the kitchen while he watched soccer and anticipated the final result. The scents are incredible- be prepared for breathless anticipation.
- Save some time with Frozen pre-made puff pastry
- 1 lb. frozen rhubarb
- 6 oz. raspberries (1 small container); save some for decoration
- 10 oz. strawberries (3/4 large container); save some for decoration
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup organic raw cane sugar
- 1 orange, for rind; approx. 2 tsps. zest
- 1 room temperature egg
- ¼ cup butter (half an 8 oz. stick)
- ⅓ cup coconut flour
- ⅓cup organic confectioner’s sugar (aka powdered sugar)
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp. bourbon vanilla powder (substitute extract for more vanilla flavor)
- Tart tin with removable bottom (a worthwhile investment)
- Rolling pin (though a clean glass bottle filled with water will do the trick)
- Pastry brush
- Pastry stones
- 2 mixing bowls, one large, one medium
- Medium sized pan
- Fine grater for zesting
First up: Set your puff pastry out to thaw. Do this before you do anything else, or you will add 30-60 minutes of wait time (trust me). Set an egg out to reach room temperature, along with your butter to soften it. Preheat oven to 375 °
Lightly sprinkle a clean surface with flour; you can use aluminum foil to cover a table for easy clean up.
Place the frozen rhubarb in your large mixing bowl and let thaw slightly. Wash and trim your berries; slice strawberries thinly, and set aside.
Over medium heat, warm your pan. Add the water and sugar. Stir occasionally, until the sugar is fully dissolved. Drain the water from your thawing rhubarb, and add to syrup mixture. Lower heat slightly, and let simmer for 5-8 minutes.
Roll out your thawed puff pastry, making it as circular as possible. Place in tart tin, folding over the excess to make a thicker crust around the rim. Cover with tin foil, and place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes.
When the rhubarb is ready, remove from heat, add your berries, and cover for 15 minutes.
Remove tart tin from the freezer, and, if you have pastry stones, place them in the center to prevent rising. If you do not have pastry stones, an 8-inch cake tin will fit nicely; press down firmly. You can use dried beans to add weight. Place in oven. Cook for 15 minutes, then remove from oven, remove tin foil and stones/cake tin, and place back in the oven for an additional 10-15, until golden brown.
Place the fruit back on low heat, adding a pinch of zest. Cover, and let simmer for 5-10 minutes.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together your softened butter and confectioners sugar. Set aside.
Remove pastry from oven when ready, and let cool completely. (Place it in the fridge if you are time-crunched).
While your pastry cools, whisk your egg, spices, and coconut flour into your butter/sugar mixture. You want it to be as fluffy as possible, but don’t sweat if it turns out more thickly- it will taste delicious regardless. Spread the resulting mixture into the bottom of your cooled tart-shell, and place in the oven for a few minutes.
Return to your simmering fruit- strain out the fruit into your mixing bowl, and return liquid to heat uncovered. Let reduce to create a slightly thicker glaze. Remove tart from oven, and add the fruit, spreading evenly. Return to oven until sauce is ready, then remove tart once more. Use your pastry brush to spread your glaze over the top of the tart, then sprinkle on the remaining zest. Using your decoration-berries, design the top of the tart to please yourself. Lightly dab the raspberries with glaze, and return to the oven for 5-10 more minutes. When done, remove and let cool before serving.
A few extra notes:
If you have an abundance of puff pastry, you can use it to decorate your tart as well- hearts, anyone?- just follow the same treatment as the tart. I made some puff pastry hearts and baked them in tinfoil to maintain their shape with no fuss. As you can see, there are a number of stages in this recipe, which means down-time between. Use this to clean up as you go for a stress-free presentation to your Valentine.
While I was waiting between stages, I happened upon a cookbook in my friend’s kitchen that I had never seen before- Miss Kay’s Duck Commander Kitchen. Opened at random to a recipe for Italian Crème Cake, I came across the following quote-“This…cake takes a little longer to make than a cake from a mix, so it really says, ‘I love you.’” Well then- this tart certainly get’s the point across!
I hope you and yours have a marvelous Valentine’s Day, wherever you may be.