Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pistachio Tart with Strawberries and Rhubarb

I wasn't sure if anyone grew rhubarb in central Texas. For the last couple of years when I was looking for it, I never saw any at our farmers' markets. Some people even told me that rhubarb is more common in the north than it is in the south. Then, all of sudden this spring, I started hearing rumors of locally grown rhubarb being available at markets and farm stands. I stopped by the farm stand at Boggy Creek Farm one morning, and they indeed had freshly cut rhubarb. It wasn't as big or as red as the stalks I see in the grocery store, but it was grown with no chemicals right here in Austin, so I was proud to bring it home. I had a mash-up of a plan in mind for it. In Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook, there were ideas from two different tarts that I wanted to combine into one dessert. The rhubarb tart recipe in the book suggests cooking big pieces of rhubarb in a sugar syrup with a vanilla bean and beet wedges. The beet wedges give the syrup and the rhubarb more red color. Once the rhubarb was tender, it was removed, and the syrup was reduced to a thick glaze. The other tart from the book was made with a pistachio crust, was filled with a creme fraiche and whipped cream mixture, and was topped with berries and whole pistachios. I wanted both.

I made the pistachio dough as instructed by finely grinding shelled pistachios and adding them to butter mixed with confectioners' sugar. Egg yolks were added to that followed by flour, salt, and a little cream. The dough was soft and slightly sticky, so it was necessary to chill it before rolling. Then, rather than making individual tartlets as shown in the book, I made one rectangular tart. There was extra dough, so I did make a few tartlets as well to freeze and use another time. The tart crust was blind baked with pie weights and then allowed to cool. Going back to the rhubarb tart in the book, I cooked the cut pieces of rhubarb as suggested with sugar, water, a vanilla bean, and one beet cut into wedges. Since my rhubarb was more green than red, it required a little extra cooking time to become tender and sweet. Then, it was removed and allowed to dry on paper towels. The sugar syrup was strained and then poured into a clean pan to reduce until thick. One more flip back to the pistachio tarts to make the filling which was a mix of creme fraiche, cream, and sugar. That was spread in the cooled crust and then topped with halved strawberries, whole pistachios, the drained rhubarb, and last was drizzled with the cooled red, sugar syrup glaze.

The glaze was bright red from the beet, full of vanilla flavor, and was delightful. It was so pretty, I wanted to boil it to a higher temperature so I could turn it into lollipops. The pistachio crust was a winner too. It was easy to shape it in the tart pan, and the faint green tint contrasted well with the filling and toppings. I had no uncertainty about the creme fraiche and whipped cream layer under the strawberries and rhubarb, and it was tangy and rich as it should be. So, this mix of two tarts made one pleasing dessert.



30 comments:

  1. Good grief. That is beautiful and I want to eat it.

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  2. That tart is gorgeous! What a delightful combination. So refined and spring-like.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  3. Rhubarb must be more inclined to a cool climate because it just doesn't show up in the South. So glad you found it in Austin. We're lousy with it in Ireland of course. Which is great because I love it. The pistachio crust on this would defo put it over the edge to amazing.

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  4. I swear Lisa, you are becoming a professional baker! Gorgeous!

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  5. I would like to marry pistachios. Im sure its legal somewhere....gorgeous
    T x

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  6. I was literally just thinking of making something with strawberries and pistachios.

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  7. I had THE toughest time finding fresh rhubarb in Oklahoma, several years in a row I went without it. Last Summer I finally found some, so maybe things are starting to change in "our" neighborhood...

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  8. Oh..how did I miss so many Yum posts here, Lisa! Barley Risotto, Falafel, scotch eggs..need to take time and browse them all. Love the rhubarbs in this Tart. Gorgeous bake!

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  9. The unbaked pistachio dough looks gorgeously green. Love that! Rhubarb is popping up in our markets now, so it must be time for tarts and pies.

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  10. It's rhubarb season here at the moment so it can be bought just about anywhere and I totally love it. I actually have never seen rhubarb prepared in such a way that keeps the pieces whole as you did. I have a rhubarb compote in the fridge right now but I would live to try it this way!

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  11. Gorgeous tart, the pistachio crust sounds wonderful and just excellent in combination with strawberries and rhubarb.

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  12. Lisa, this is really gorgeous! I love the strawberries, pistacio and rhubarbs! They make such gorgeous colour :)

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  13. In college, one of my friends' grandmothers made us a strawberry rhubarb pie. It was the first and only time I ever had rhubarb, and I loved it! This tart looks so delicious, and I'm sure it is, because it reminds me of that pie!

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  14. It looks beautiful! I seldom have rhubarb but the strawberries and pistachios will make me eat anything, everything.

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  15. So pretty! And I love the pistachio crust. Sounds like a great combination! I must get down to Boggy soon to check out their rhubarb. I'm a bit jealous of your tart, though. I had plans to make a strawberry tart last weekend but got felled by a stomach bug on Sunday and didn't get it made. So no dessert for me until next weekend. Not like I couldn't use a break :-)

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  16. Wow what a combination of flavours!! I can't get over how pretty the pistachio tart base look...love that shade of green so cant wait to experiment with it! Rhubarb and strawberry must make a great pair too!

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  17. I love strawberries and rhubarb - and this tart looks absolutely fabulous!!

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  18. OMG, that is just gorgeous!

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  19. I'm not sure I've seen anything so pretty in a long time. Totally convinced now that I need a rectangular tart pan. The presentation is stunning.

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  20. The tart looks gorgeous and although I have never tasted rhubarb before the filling sounds amazing!

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  21. I've never tried rhubarb for some reason, but I finally tried and enjoyed beets, so I feel a tasting coming on this summer. That pistachio dough is incredible. I'm holding onto this one! Stunning tart - always love the look of tarts baked in rectangular tart pans :)

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  22. That's funny because I have not found ANY rhubarb here in the northeast yet...sigh. Soon. Hopefully. This tart looks absolutely lovely! The pistachio crust would totally do it for me!

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  23. glad you found rhubarb..i have not found ANY here in the rio grande valley, hopefully soon..love the pistachio crust and love rectanglar tarts..so pretty!

    sweetlife

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  24. Wonderous pistachio crust and an incredible looking tart. Beautiful job.

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  25. i tasted the classic rhubarb-strawberry for the first time last week at the ripe old age of 28--it was amazing. i must have more, and tossing pistachios into the mix is a wonderful idea indeed!

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  26. This sounds incredible and looks delicious. I'm very intrigued by the pistacchio crust. I'll have to give it a try!

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  27. The dough/crust sounds simply fabulous! I am not sure if the rhubarb is locally grown but i have been seeing them every year even in Kroger. Last year I made some strawberry Rhubarb pie. Only thing is they disappear after a few days. So I suppose they are short lived like the figs in the market. Superb combination going on here.

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  28. Pistachio dough!!! delicious...
    This Is something I will make for eating alfresco with some others tarts, quiches and a good wine. I may tray to use mascarpone cheese mix with the creme fraiche.
    Great recipe, thanks for sharing.

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  29. ohhhhhhhhhhhh............I made it. And it is yammy....
    Thanks for this recipe.
    Gluten Free Recipes

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