Strawberry-Rhubarb Tartelette

Spring is peak season for strawberries and rhubarb, so no better time than now to reap the local harvest. Well, maybe... Mike and I went to our local farmer's market in mid-April, and were told due to the cold and rainy weather, rhubarb wouldn't be ready for another month {bummer}. Since Mike loves rhubarb, and I really wanted to make this for him, I ended up purchasing the rhubarb at the grocery store.   The store only had about a dozen stalks, and some were not in the best shape, so hopefully when you are ready to make this recipe, the local produce stands will be bounding with this veggie!

If you have never tried rhubarb and wonder what it tastes like, to me it's like a cranberry & lemon merged then morphed themselves into a celery stalk.  It's tart, I guess that's why most people pair it with sweet berries, but I think even alone it wouldn't be too strong of a flavor.

I decided to make tartelettes {petite tarts made in ceramic ramekins 5 inches around x 1 inch high} versus a large tart or pie, because I was afraid that in larger version when the strawberries broke down during the baking process, their juiciness would leave my crust soggy.  I'm glad I made this decision, the crust was super flaky.

Okay, I have to make a confession to you, this was the first time I made a crust from scratch.  I guess I always thought homemade crusts were too hard to make or the store-bought ones were too easy.  But I finally did it, and won't go back to doing it any other way.  I used an all butter recipe from http://www.SmittenKitchen.com (pie crust 102).  I went to the extreme to keep everything cold; I placed a cup of water in the freezer, a metal bowl and forks in the fridge x 30 minutes to hinder the butter from softening while mixing.  Definitely let your dough rest 1-2 hours prior to rolling it out, otherwise it will fight you and want to shrink back up into a ball.

These tartelettes are really good, I can't wait to try it with locally grown produce!

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CLICK HERE for a printer friendly recipe

Ingredients  to makes 3 Strawberry-Rhubarb Tartelettes

  • 1 single pie crust- see Smitten Kitchen's recipe for Pie Crust 102
  • 5 stalks{about 1 cup} of rhubarb; wash & cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 cup of strawberries; wash, destem, cut
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar {if berries are not naturally sweet, may have to add more} 
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 egg
  • optional for topping: powder sugar for dusting, candied lemon peel, lemon curd

Directions

  • Prepare pie crust, let it rest 1-2 hours in refrigerator, roll out to make 3- 7 inch circles, place in buttered/floured ramekin, chill 30 min. 
  • Into a preheated 375 F oven, place the pie ramekins {dough should have slits in the sides and bottom, covered with foil & sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, and weighted with pie weights or dried beans}  bake x 15-20 minutes.
  • {while crusts are baking} Into a medium bowl, combine rhubarb, strawberries, lemon juice & zest, and sugar.  Toss together.
  • Allow crust to cool slightly, then fill with strawberry-rhubarb mixture.  Make egg wash {1 beaten egg with teaspoon of water} and brush edges of crust.  Place tartelettes back into the oven for 15-30 minutes with dough exposed until fruit mixture is tender and crust is browned.