Desserts, FruitAlison Lambert


Desserts, FruitAlison Lambert
This tart has symphonies of seasonal flavours, obviously when the seasons change and the stone fruit and berries take a front seat then adapt the fillings to suit. This tart is supposed to be rustic looking as it has a free-forming pastry case which adds that lovely summer country charm. Do try this combination as the rhubarbs tartness, combined with the sweet perfumed strawberries partners perfectly to give you a wonderful dessert!

Serves 6

1 quantity short crust pastry (shop bought or homemade – recipe below)

750g rhubarb stalks, washed and leaves discarded
125ml water
110g sugar
1 star anise
1 tsp rose water
12 strawberries hulled and halved
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp crushed gingernut biscuits
50g ground almonds

To make shortcrust pastry:
240g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
A pinch of salt
180g butter, diced
60ml ice-cold water

Preheat oven to 200C

To make the pastry: Put the flour and salt into a bowl of a food processor, blitz for a couple of seconds. Add the butter and processor until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. With the motor running drizzle in the water and process until it just forms a dough. Turn out onto your work surface and bring together to form a ball. Wrap in gladwrap and chill for 30 minutes.

NB I always make a double batch of pastry and freeze one portion as it can be so useful when making your next pie or tart!

To make the filling: Prepare the rhubarb by cutting into small chunks.

Simmer the water, sugar and star anise together in a small pot over low heat. Add the chopped rhubarb and rosewater cook gently for 2 minutes or until rhubarb is just tender. Remove the rhubarb and strain through a sieve over a bowl as you will be using the syrup to glaze your tart.

Transfer rhubarb to another bowl remove star anise and discard, fold through 2/3 of your strawberries. Set aside to cool.

To make your gingernut mixture: In a bowl combine the flour, crushed gingernuts, sugar and almonds and set aside.
To assemble: Roll out your pastry on a lightly floured work surface until you get a 26cm round. Place onto a baking tray. Scatter over half the gingernut mix in the centre of the pastry and spread out a little, mix the remainder through the rhubarb (this helps to absorb excess moisture). Pile the rhubarb and strawberries on top of the gingernuts, spread it out a little remembering to leave to a generous edge around the filling. Arrange remainder of the strawberries on top, gather up the pastry from the edges and crimp and pleat it up and around the fruit filling. You are wanting it to hold the filling securely but to leave a large open surface to expose your beautiful filling!

Bake for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile reduce the syrup in a pot over high heat until it becomes syrupy (3-5 minutes).
When the tart is cooked brush generously with rhubarb syrup, cool slightly before eating.