Yes, I know this has been a fairly slack week, blogging-wise.  With my new job going full-time, I’m working longer hours and coping with a longer commute, often not getting home until 8:00 or so.  So, over the next couple of weeks, I need to spend a little time thinking and planning and just figuring it all out – how do I want to handle cooking dinner every weeknight?  how do I want to handle my blogging?  do I spend a couple of hours on the weekend writing my posts, then publish them throughout the week?  I don’t know.

Because these are the things I love – they are my way of being home after a long day at work – being in the kitchen, chopping, cooking, tasting, adjusting.  But, you can’t eat dinner every night at 9.  Well, I suppose you can, but I don’t want to.  So, I think I need to go through my books and find dishes that I can cook ahead over the weekend along with using the good ol’ crock pot.  So, watch this space as I try to get this thing figured out.

Weekends, though, will remain MY TIME.  My time to bake.  My time to really indulge in kitchen time.  And, of course, my time to write. 

So, last weekend I wanted to use the rhubarb from a friend’s garden to make something nice for my mother-in-law.  She loves frangipane tarts, so I decided to put the two together.  Frangipane goes so well with summer fruits like plums, strawberries and cherries but it’s amazing with rhubarb – the rich sweetness of the almonds is a perfect foil for the sour rhubarb!

Rhubarb and Frangipane Tart

Tart dough

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 1/2 oz very cold butter, grated
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Tart filling

  • 1 1/2 lbs rhubarb, washed, trimmed and cut into 2″ pieces
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 oz butter, room temp
  • 1 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Put the rhubarb in a large pan in one layer and sprinkle with the 3 Tbsp sugar, then cover with tin foil and cook for 10-15 minutes, until you can just pierce it with a sharp knife.  Set aside to cool while you work on the rest of the tart. 

It’s supposed to be best to use a food processor when making pie or tart crust – however, since I don’t have one, I use my standing mixer and just pulse it to keep from over-working the flour.  Grate the very cold butter into the flour and powdered sugar, then pulse a few times to incorporate.  Add the beaten egg and continue to pulse until it comes together.  Place the dough on a large piece of plastic wrap and press it out until it’s a large circle about 1″ thick, wrap and chill for an hour.

Once the tart dough is chilled, roll it out so that it’s large enough to cover a 9″ tart tin and have a little overlap (don’t trim the overlap before you blind bake). Cut a piece of parchment paper large enough to line the tart shell, then pour in dried beans or pie weights and bake in the 400-degree oven for 15 minutes, then remove the beans and parchment paper and bake another 5 minutes until done.  Trim the pastry to get a smooth edge by pressing the overlap away with your thumb.

Reduce the oven to 350 F and make the frangipane filling.  Start by creaming the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add the ground almonds, eggs and vanilla extract, beating thoroughly, then stir in the flour.  Pour into the shell when it’s cooled, then top with the pieces of rhubarb and bake for 1 hour, 10 minutes.