We had a beautiful May 2-4 long weekend here in Muskoka and it’s been a number of years since I could say that! Cold and rainy is usually the story for the first long weekend of the season.
It’s always a bit odd when you live year-round in “cottage country”. Long weekends don’t mean that you get in your car and go somewhere. It means that you shop early in the week and then try to lay low all weekend to avoid the tourists and cottagers. It’s the weekend to hang around home, plant our garden and clean out the barn (the squirrels have had their way with it all winter long!).
With great temperatures and sunny skies though, and a chance to hit the lake, we figured the barn could wait! I’m sure it was bustling on the lakes over the weekend but by Monday, when we went out, it was fairly quiet. We did find some people still enjoying the weekend though, like this water skier.
When we got home, I figured I’d better cook up some of the rhubarb in my fridge and since I had some strawberries to use up as well, these strawberry and rhubarb rustic tarts were born.
I love rustic pies (or tarts or galettes, or whatever you’d like to call them). I also love making individual ones, so everyone can have their own. One caution though, these can be a bit messy (especially if you put too much filling in, like I did), so use a parchment lined baking sheet with a rim. They aren’t always the prettiest dessert on the block either, but nothing a bit of powdered sugar can’t cure. All that said though, they are delicious enough to overlook these small points.
Individual Rustic Strawberry Rhubarb Tarts
Summary: This is a wonderful Spring dessert when strawberries and rhubarb are in season. Rustic tarts don’t have to be perfect, so they are also easier to make up than a pie. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
- For the pastry:
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 3/4 tsp. table salt
- 3/4 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 3 Tbsp. ice water (or more, as needed)
- For the filling:
- 1 pint strawberries, thickly sliced (about 2 cups)
- 1 pound very red fresh rhubarb stalks, cut 1/2 inch thick or slightly thawed, frozen sliced rhubarb (about 3 cups)
- 3/4 – 1 cup sugar (more if you like it sweeter)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons whole milk (for glazing dough)
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- turbinado, raw or granulated sugar, for sprinkling
- Powdered sugar, for garnish
- For the pastry: Put the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl and stir to combine. Put the bowl in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
- Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes and add to the flour.Toss until each butter cube is coated in flour. Cut the butter into the flour using a pastry cutter, two knives or a food processor until coarse and crumbly and the butter is slightly smaller than pea-size.
- Drizzle the water over the dough. Toss with a fork. The dough will be shaggy but should hold together when squeezed. If not, add another teaspoon or two of water.
- Dump the dough onto a floured surface and press down on the dough, folding it over on itself a few times until it holds together. Try not to handle it too much. Flatten the pastry into a disk about 1-inch thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
- For the filling: Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, toss the strawberries with the rhubarb, sugar, flour, lemon juice and vanilla.
- Remove the dough from fridge and divide into 6 equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry out to about 8-inch rounds. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the fruit filling into the middle of the pastry round, to within 2 inches of the edge. Fold the edge over the filling, pleating it at 2 inch intervals. Add a dab of butter on the top of each tart. Lightly brush the dough with the milk then sprinkle sugar over each tart. Carefully transfer each tart to the prepared baking pan. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before baking.
- Bake in the centre of the pre-heated 400° F. oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the fruit is bubbling and the pastry is golden brown.
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 30 min
Total time: 2 hours
Number of servings (yield): 6