Thursday 30 August 2012

Tartelette test

On Monday American friends Ken and Walt plus their lovely dog Callie came for lunch. Both of them write a blog and you can find Ken's blog here. Walt's blog is called Another American in France. They are good cooks and interested in food so in a foolhardy fashion we decided use a recipe for rhubarb tart which we'd never tried before and serve it as their dessert. We found the recipe on a site called La Tartine Gourmande. It's run by a French woman, originally from northeastern France, but now living in Boston. She has a whole range of recipes including  gluten-free.

It was all as a result of our neighbour, Alexandra having come round a few days before  with a delicious home-made mirabelle and rubarb flan. The mirabelles had come from her orchard but we knew she didn't grow rhubarb as she doesn't have a potager.  She said that the LeClerc supermarket in Loches had it; so, as we both love rhubarb, we did our weekly shopping there hoping they would still have some. They did, and we came home with 1kg of lovley rhubarb.

tarte a la rhubarbe gingembrée et vanillée
We didn't follow the recipe exactly. It is actually for 4 tartelettes which are dainty. We made one large tart, which is more rustic. Also we didn't peel the stalks of rhubarb--they were tender enough, nor did we finish with a powdering confectioner's sugar. For the rest we pretty much followed the instructions and the baking time was spot on. We served the tart with very lightly sugared creme fraiche (30% fat).

The end result looked and tasted good. Well, Niall and I thought so, and Ken and Walt are alive to tell the tale :-).

Here's the recipe [on the website there's also a version in French which uses metric measurements]:
 Rhubarb Tartlets with Ginger and Vanilla
(For 4 tartlets rectangular 8 x 4″)
You need:
  • 10.5 oz puff pastry
  • 1 lb + 2 oz rhubarb
  • 2 oz fine cane sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds removed
  • 2 inch ginger root, peeled and grated extremely thinly
  • 3/4 cup almond powder
  • 3.5 Tbsp brown raw granulated sugar + 2 Tbsp to sprinkle over
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Peel the rhubarb and cut it in 2.5 ” long sticks.
  • Place them in a colander placed over a bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 cup fine sugar. Let rest for 1 hour so that the rhubarb looses its water.
  • In the meantime, roll your puff pastry thinly and divide in four 8 x 4″ rectangulars, and place them on a baking sheet.
  • Preheat your oven at 420 F.
  • Make small holes with a fork leaving a 1/2 inch border. Cover with a plastic film and place in the fridge.
  • Mix together the almond powder with 4 Tbsp raw brown sugar, the vanilla seeds and the ginger. Crumble.
  • Take the dough out of the fridge and top with the almond crumble, leaving the border intact.
  • Arrange the rhubarb sticks on top and sprinkle with additional 1/2 Tbsp on each tartlet.
  • Cook for about 20 min. Remove and sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar if desired.

We shall certainly be trying more recipes from La Tartine Gourmande! However, tomorrow the other half of the rhubarb is going into a rhubarb and ginger sour-dough cake.


Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Niall and Antoinette:
We absolutely love rhubarb and would, we are sure, have demolished the tartlette with delight. It looks truly delicious and the perfect pudding for late summer. Lucky Ken and Walt!

We shall now go and see what they had to say about things on their respective blogs as we have never 'met' them before this introduction!

Susan said...

Gee that was brave of you! Serving a tart to K&W :-)

We are all going to end up with so much cake from that sour dough starter! I made fourrées for lunch (like pitabread stuffed with either tomato/chevre or baba ganoush). The Herman mix works well in the dough.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Jane & Lance - we were very pleased to find some rhubarb in a local supermarket.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Susan - LOL!! I know!
Don't know about you but I just keep a bit of the mix back each time I use it to start off another batch. Did yours survive chilling?? I was under the impression it would 'die' in the fridge.

Susan said...

Antoinette: yes, that's what I do too, but it still builds up. I made an orange cake yesterday,fouaces fourrées today and have sponge dough for ciabatta on the go for tomorrow - all fuelled by Herman's active little yeasty beasties. He survives being chilled perfectly well so long as it isn't too long - less than a week. He just goes to sleep and revives the minute you take him out.

BTW, I've been buying rhubarb regularly at the Preuilly market for several weeks now. We have a version of the rhubarb and ginger cake in the freezer and I made rhubarb and homegrown apple compote yesterday.

Just been down at the library researching the Danse macabre in Tous-les-Saints, so a blog post in the offing.

GaynorB said...

The tart looks delicious.

I remember offering you a clump of rhubarb so that you could 'grow your own'. Ask me again when I return your Bruce Springsteen CD.

I brought back three lots of frozen rhubarb and ginger Herman together with some of the chilled Herman mix.

Since I also returned to the UK half a stone heavier it will be a while before it gets eaten!! :o)

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Susan - good to know Herman can stand a bit of chill.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Gaynor - yes please after all your soil at L P-P can't be all that different from ours --ie claggy clay!

Now you know why I rarely bake! :-)

Helva said...

Rhubarb and ginger crumble works well, too, with crystallised ginger in with the rhubarb, and either crushed ginger biscuits or powdered ginger in with the topping.
What is Herman mix, please?
To identify myself, I'm a friend of Perpetua, and am on the verge of starting a blog myself (when I pluck up the courage to try!)

Colin and Elizabeth said...

I've just had a look at the La Tartine Gourmande.. particularly at the gluten free section. Thanks for bringing it to our attention! I'm planning to do the Toasted Nuts recipe from the site; they look delicious!

ps did you receive my email?

the fly in the web said...

That sounds lovely...we both loved the very first rhubarb from the garden...and after that forgot about the clumps until next we're well served for our disdain by not being able to find rhubarb here.

Thanks for the link to the site...I have a feeling it will be well visited...

wcs said...

I can attest to the tasty quotient of the tart! Very yummy. I had two pieces!

All of lunch was wonderful and we had a great afternoon. Thanks again!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Helva - hi nice of you to drop by :-). Herman is : 'Herman the German friendship cake' basically a sourdough starter which is travelling the world like an old fashioned chain letter.
Gaynor kindly gave us some and I've baked with it -- a couple of apple, ginger, cinnamon and raisin cakes. I gave a bit of the starter to Susan another friend who is making all sorts of yummy things by the sound of it!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Fly - we don't have a potager [as yet...] we might get year??.. to putting in a raised bed to grow a few veggies. We are very good at 'domani, domani' :-)!. However, Gaynor has promised us a rhubarb plant so we'll start with that.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Colin & Elizabeth - we're planning to try out more recipes from the site--saw the toasted nuts one which looked yummy and thought of you re gluten free :-)

yes did get email...thought I'd replied... oops! Sorry

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Walt - you're very welcome!

GaynorB said...


I've now had chance to look at the link. there are some great recipes there. I'm always looking for something different in the vegetarian line also the gluten free apple pie with lime looks tasty.

Now all I need to find is a supplier of ready made, ready rolled gluten free pastry...

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Gaynor - ah! but you like a challenge :-)

My name is Riet said...

That tart looks and sounds delicious, I must go and get some rhubarb tomorrow, and get going witch it.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@riet - do try it, it is a lovely recipe. Hartstikke lekker zelfs :-)

LindyLouMac said...

That was brave but it looked as though it worked, we do not get rhubarb here at all!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@LindyLou - or foolish :-) but it worked well.

Perpetua said...

That tart looks scrumptious. I love rhubarb and am interested to learn that it's available at this time of year in France, as ours is always over by July in the UK.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Perpetua - Don't know why the rhubarb was available but we were glad we found it :-)