2 1/2 cups (350 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon (4 grams) salt
1 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated white sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) (226 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup (60 - 120 ml) ice water
Strawberry Rhubarb Filling:
1 pound (454 grams) rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) pieces (approximately 3 cups)
1 pound (454 grams) fresh strawberries, cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces
1/4 - 1/3 cup (35 - 45 grams) all purpose flour
3/4 - 1 cup (150 - 200 grams) granulated white sugar
Pastry Crust: In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). Pour 1/4 cup (60 ml) water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube until the dough just holds together when pinched. Add remaining water, if necessary.
Turn the dough out onto your work surface and gather it into a ball. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, flatten each portion into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to one hour (or until firm). (This will chill the butter and allow the gluten in the flour to relax.)
While the pastry is chilling, line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Once the pastry has chilled sufficiently, remove the two disks of pastry from the refrigerator and divide each disk into four equal portions (you will have eight portions altogether). On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of pastry into a 7 inch (18 cm) circle. Place the eight pastry circles (four on each sheet) onto the prepared baking sheets and cover with plastic wrap. Place the covered baking sheets in the refrigerator to firm the pastry while you prepare the filling.
Strawberry Rhubarb Filling: In a large bowl, combine the cut up rhubarb, cut strawberries, flour, and sugar.
Remove pastry from refrigerator. Place approximately 1/2 - 3/4 cup (120-180 ml) of filling in the center of each pastry circle, spreading the filling out to about 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the edge of pastry. Gently fold the edges of the pastry circle up and over the filling, leaving the center of the tart open. Press the edges gently so the pastry sticks together. Once all the tarts are assembled, cover and return to the refrigerator for about 15 - 30 minutes to chill.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Bake the tarts for approximately 25 - 30 minutes or until the crusts have browned and the juices are bubbly and starting to run out from the center of each tart. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool before serving. Serve with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.
Makes 8 individual tarts
Individual Strawberry Rhubarb Tarts are a delicious and unique way to combine these two spring and summer fruits. I love how the sweetness of the strawberries is perfectly balanced by the tartness of the rhubarb. Perfect when paired with a buttery crisp short crust pastry. Lovely warm from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
A two-crusted pie is the most popular way to bake with strawberries and rhubarb, which is probably why rhubarb is often called the "pie plant". For this recipe, however, we are going to make individual free form tarts. To do this the chilled pastry is formed into small rounds. Then, instead of putting each round of pastry in a pie plate, we just place some of the strawberry/rhubarb filling in the center of each round of pastry and wrap the edges of the pastry up and over the filling. My favorite pastry to use is Pate Brisee, pronounced 'paht bree-ZAY', which is a French short crust pastry dough made from a mixture of flour, a little sugar, salt, butter, and ice water. It has a high ratio of fat to flour which gives the pastry a wonderful crisp and crumbly texture and buttery flavor. The tarts are baked in a fairly hot oven until the fruit's juices start to run.
If you like, you can add a tablespoon of crystallized ginger or the zest of an orange to the strawberries and rhubarb. Crystallized ginger is ginger that has been cooked in a sugar syrup and then coated with sugar. It has a wonderful sweet yet spicy flavor. You can buy crystallized or candied ginger in small tins at specialty grocery stores or in bulk form from health food stores. It will last indefinitely if stored in a cool dry place.