Thursday, 8 July 2010

Rhubarb and Strawberry Tart

I wanted to make something with the soft pastry that a Linzertorte has, but without the nuts. My daughter, visiting for a few days, has a severe peanut allergy which, when first diagnosed, made her wary of eating any nuts. Although we don't think she's allergic to any of them she still prefers not to eat them - cross contamination is often a risk.

I also wanted to do something to preserve the last of the strawberries until she was home, and have always wanted to cook rhubarb and strawberries together. In the end I made a small batch of jam with 350g rhubarb and 150g strawberries, but I think this was too sweet - I should have just cooked the fruit with sugar to taste to make a thick compote. I also didn't cook it enough to give a good set - it was too soft, even after  cooking it again in the tart.

The pastry worked very well and produced the soft result I wanted, but the way I constructed the pie wasn't very pretty as you can see. It was difficult because I'd chosen a fluted tin, but I should have used a rope of pastry around the edge, rather than a strip. This could have then been joined more effectively to the sides. However because the jam was so soft, I was working quickly and couldn't see a way of joining the strip without making a mess. At least I made a 'proper' lattice! Frankly, I was surprised that the finished result looked even remotely photographable - I expected the jam filling to bubble up and cover the lattice during cooking.

For the pastry I used 250g SR flour, 150g butter, 50g icing sugar, 1 egg and water as required to mix to a soft dough. I added the zest of a large orange, a quarter of a teaspoon of cinnamon and a grating of nutmeg to give some of the flavouring of Linzertorte pastry.

Unfortunately the sweetness of the jam overwhelmed any other flavour, and because of the small proportion of strawberries used it was difficult to judge whether rhubarb and strawberries used together is better than either of them used separately.


Jude said...

I am totally hooked on rhubarb and strawberries together since making Rowley Leigh's pie. I wonder if your daughter might like that. (Won't help you use up the jam though)!

Maria♥ said...

Wow, that looks and sounds amazing! I'm not a fan of rhubarb but combined with strawberry sounds gorgeous and something I should try.


Suelle said...

Jude - I think a more straightforward pie may be the next answer. I'll look for the recipe you mention.

Maria - Just be careful about the amount of sugar you use

Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial said...

Suelle, we have a pantry full of jam, so I'm always looking for jam based desserts - thank you. We recently made rhubarb and blackberry jam which was very nice - last year we made rhubarb and strawberry, but the strawbs got lost a little in the rhubarb flavour. It will probably be different when we have homegrown fruit like you do, but I find supermarket strawberries tend to be watery and flavourless.

And you're always so tough on yourself - I think your pie looks most appealing! :)

Suelle said...

I see it as being honest, Celia, rather than tough on myself. With a better jam, or a less sweet compote the tart would have been very good.

C said...

It's a shame that it was a little sweet for your tastes, but Celia is right, it looks really, really good. I must try making sweet pastry (or pastry at all) because this really does look fab! I wonder if a combination of bramleys and raspberries would be good and tangy, I have to admit that I don't like really really sweet fillings!

Suelle said...

C - the jam was more than 50% sugar after allowing for some evaporation of water during cooking. I'm sure if you made a well cooked compote of fruit which was sweetened to taste (rather than using raw or lightly cooked fruit) it would be fine. You want a jam like texture though, so crush the fruit a bit during cooking.

Rebecca said...

I think the tart does look really pretty, I'd certainly buy/order it!

Suelle said...

Hi, Rebecca - thanks for your generous comment.