I grew up eating rhubarb straight out of my grandparent’s garden. Of course as a kid, the extreme tartness was a bit too much for me, but my Grandma sure knew how to make an amazing strawberry-rhubarb pie that won us all over. Since moving to France, I have a tendency to always choose rhubarb desserts when they’re available. One of my favorites is a perfect little rhubarb tartelette covered in a crumble topping. When my own rhubarb plant starting growing this year, I knew that I needed to find my own signature dessert showcasing all that I love about rhubarb. And honestly, what’s better than a curd? I LOVE curds, their silky texture and tart sweetness. This was a no-brainer.
Last year I made a nectarine curd tart for my visiting family and it was a huge success. I have to admit though, since then I’ve never thought about experimenting with other types of fruit curds. I usually just stick to citrus. This is where Food52 comes in, filling my inbox with genius recipes each week. When I saw the rhubarb curd bars a few weeks ago, the recipe was immediately bookmarked. Now all that was left to do was wait for my plant to produce enough stalks for a couple of little tartelettes.
Unfortunately I fell short in the way of patience and ended up making two perfect little tartelettes with my three little stalks of rhubarb. The shortbread crust that is the base of these gems is so good that I didn’t mind that there was just as much of it as there was of the curd. The curd was tangy and sweet and fabulous, and set up nicely after a few hours in the fridge, making these easy to eat and to portion. I just wish I would have waited a little while longer so I could have made even more! Once I’d devoured the last bite, I found myself wishing for more.
Rhubarb curd tartelettes
Recipe from Food52
Ingredients (makes two small tartelettes, serving up to 4):
2-3 stalks of rhubarb
2 T water
1/8 C + 1/4 C sugar
2 egg yolks
A pinch of lemon zest
1 t lemon juice
1 1/2 T butter
6 T butter
1/8 C powdered sugar
Pinch of salt
3/4 C flour
Pinch of ginger
Pinch of cinnamon
Begin by making your crust. Preheat your oven to 350°. Combine the flour, ginger, cinnamon, salt and powdered sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer. Add the butter, cut into cubes, and mix until dough forms (a minute or two). Refrigerate for about an hour.
For the curd, begin by cooking down your rhubarb. In a small pot, place the rhubarb, cut into small pieces, and the 1/8 C sugar and water. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring often and adding water if needed, until the rhubarb is fully cooked and falling apart (it should look like jam). Blend the mixture until smooth.
Divide the shortbread crust into two equal portions and roll out to the size of your tartelette molds. Carefully place the crust into the molds (the crust is very delicate) and bake for about 22-25 minutes, until golden brown. Remove and let cool while you finish the curd.
Place a metal bowl on top of a pot filled 1/3 of the way with water. Bring to a simmer. Add the egg yolks, butter, remaining sugar, lemon juice and zest to the bowl and whisk over the simmering water until well combined. Add the rhubarb purée, a little bit at a time, and continue whisking for 3-5 minutes until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat.
Once your crust is baked, spread the curd over the crust and bake for 10 minutes longer to help set the curd. Let the tartelettes cool slightly before placing them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Remove 10 minutes before serving and dust with powdered sugar.