Yet another year, and the season for geometric tarts has started again. We couldn’t counter the temptation this time. And there it is, our first geometric rhubarb tart.
We replicated Philippe Conticini’s recipe, which includes a delicate pâte brisée base, a layer of almond cream akin to frangipane, rhubarb jam, and lightly caramelised rhubarb strips. The key ingredient is rhubarb, and it’s crucial to use the highest quality available. We chose Yorkshire forced rhubarb for its perfumed, well-balanced notes, free from the vegetal bitterness found in common rhubarb. Unique in its cultivation, forced rhubarb is harvested under candlelight to protect it from daylight, avoiding the photosynthesis that can lead to greener flavours and preserving the tenderness of the shoots.
Forced rhubarb is harvested in the light of a candle in order to maintain the tenderness of the shoots and ensure that the growth continues. If the rhubarb is exposed to too much light, the Photosynthesis will occur and that will result in a bitter taste of the rhubarb.Fun fact
Rhubarb tartCourse: DessertCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Medium
- Pâte brisée
125g unsalted butter, softened
120g icing sugar
Zest of 2 small lemons
30g ground almonds
250g low protein flour (for example a cake flour)
- Almond Cream
40g unsalted butter
40g golden caster sugar
40g ground almonds
- Rhubarb Jam
180g white caster sugar
Pinch of salt
½ tbsp of gelatine granules (you can substitute the gelatine with any gelling agent)
½ tsp orange blossom (optional)
- Top layer
White caster sugar
- Pâte brisée
- Combine the following ingredients in a mixing bowl: butter, icing sugar, eggs, zest of lemons, salt and vanilla. Mix until a homogenous batter is obtained.
- Incorporate the ground almonds and the flour into the wet mix avoiding kneading the dough*.
- Wrap the dough in a cling film and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day just before baking, take the dough out of the fridge, and roll until very thin (about 3-4mm, we prefer thinner tarts but Conticini rolls the dough 0.5cm thick) using as much flour as you need to prevent it from sticking to the surfaces.
- Transfer the rolled dough into your tart mould and cut off any excess.
- Place the tart shell in the fridge and let it rest for 2h (If you aren’t patient, the sides of the tart will slide down on the bottom. Info confirmed!;)).
- Just before baking, preheat the oven to 160C.
- Take the tart shell off the fridge and poke the bottom several times using a fork.
- Bake the tart for 10min.
- Almond Cream
- Combine all of the ingredients into a homogenous batter.
- Once your tart is prebaked, spread the almond cream evenly on the pâte brisée.
- Return it to the oven preheated to 160C and bake it for 15min.
- Take it off the oven and cool it down until it reaches room temperature. Refrigerate for 1h.
- Rhubarb jam
- Cut the rhubarb into 1cm slices and place it in a pot.
- Add the sugar, salt and water. Bring it to boil and simmer on medium heat for 20-25min.
- The rhubarb should completely fall apart but it should still have an intense aroma (so don’t boil it please!).
- Take the pot off the heat and blend until smooth.
- Bloom the gelatine in warm water, make sure that it dissolves fully.
- Add the gelatine in the rhubarb jam and blend again.
- Transfer the jam into a bowl and cover tightly with a cling film. Refrigerate for 2h.
- Top layer
- Using a mandolin, cut long strips of rhubarb about 0.5cm thick.
- Try to get some of the skin and the flesh to achieve the bicoloured garnish.
- Arrange the stripes on a baking tray and sprinkle with sugar.
- Place the rhubarb in the oven and roast it until it’s just lightly caramelised but still tender (about 8min at 160C). Take it off the oven and let it cool.
- Take a large baking tray and line it up with a strong foil.
- Arrange the rhubarb parallelly forming a thin single layer of the stripes.
- Cover it with the strong foil and place in the freezer and let it rest until firm (2-3h).
- Remove the tray from the freezer and unpack from the foil.
- Place your tart tin on the top of the layer of the rhubarb and using a knife, cut carefully a circle.
- Fill the tart shell with the rhubarb jam, it should be straight with the edge. Place the rhubarb garnish on the top and voila!
- *Try to transfer the dough onto a flat surface and get a dough scraper. Then, spread the dough on the surface and scrape back into a ball. Repeat until the dough is homogenous. This method ensures even mixing without kneading the dough. The crust of the tart should be thin and brittle, therefore the dough shouldn’t develop much gluten structure.
- **The pink colour of rhubarb comes from its outer layer, therefore skip peeling the fruit. You will need to blend the jam anyway, so we don’t see the point.