All of these Springs past I've avoided rhubarb "just cuz," until last Saturday when the first farmer's market appeared and there sat piles of spinach which I happily stuffed into a bag. I was late and they'd run out of eggs, so I grabbed a sweet potato, and turned attention to the big mound of red stalks in the center. Another girl was scoping out the red celery, too, and we both decided to try something new. I bought a stalk, and thought about what to make. Oh the options. Muffins, crumb cakes, curd. But then my eye caught sight of a clipped recipe from Bon Apetite from a few seasons ago. I love finding things on paper.
Karen Demasco, pastry chef of Locanda Verde, combines raspberries and rhubarb in tender crostata crust. She takes care of you through the process, so even if you shy away from pastry generally, I highly recommend giving this a shot. It's a dough on the softer side. Cold butter is a must as well as a chill after formation, but this dough, punctuated with some whole wheat flour and bound by a little milk and egg, isn't so much about flake than it is about a wonderful rustic tenderness with some crispiness, aka, crust/ crusta, which is the Italian derivative of Crrrostatttaaa : ). Crostatas and galettes are rather forgiving...my edges usually resist tidiness, and that's what I love about them.
My only changes were to halve both the crust and filling, therefore making a smaller tart (but I still baked it around 40 mins), and to use whole wheat pastry flour instead of hard whole wheat, which I then upped the ratio of since it is lighter (i.e., I used 1/2 c whole wheat pastry and 1/4 c all purpose since I halved the recipe). Demasco has you very briefly cook the filling so it will stay gelled, like jam, and despite never cooking rhubarb I found that process rather simple and quick. Rustic, jammy Spring fruit tucked into tender whole what dough..what's not to love? And the rhubarb...that's pretty tasty, too.
I let it sit by the window in the light, crisping up and cooling down for a few hours before slicing in the evening for a rare midweek dessert.
And saved a piece for breakfast, too.
Rhubarb and Raspberry Crostata
From Bon Appetite
Notes: If you wish for a smaller tart as I did, simply halve everything below. This is the full recipe below.
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tbsp. whole milk
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 4 cups 1/2'-thick slices rhubarb (about 1-1 1/4 lb.)
- 1 6-oz. container fresh raspberries
- 2/3 cup sugar
- Beaten egg
- Raw sugar
Combine both flours, sugar, and salt in a processor; blend for 5 seconds. Add butter; pulse until butter is reduced to pea-size pieces. Whisk egg and milk in a small bowl to blend; add to processor and pulse until moist clumps form. Gather dough into a ball; flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap; chill at least 1 1/2hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
Dissolve cornstarch in 3 Tbsp. water in a small bowl; set aside. Combine rhubarb, raspberries, and sugar in a large heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until sugar dissolves and juices are released, about 4 minutes. Stir in cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil (rhubarb will not be tender and slices will still be intact). Transfer to a bowl. Chill until cool, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400°. Roll out dough on floured parchment paper to 12" round; brush with beaten egg. Mound filling in center of crust; gently spread out, leaving 1 1/2" border. Gently fold edges of dough over filling, pleating as needed. Brush border with egg; sprinkle with raw sugar. Slide parchment with crostata onto a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly, about 45 minutes. Let crostata cool on baking sheet on a rack.