Every May it happens: All I want to eat are sweet, tangy, pink foods. Strawberries, rhubarb, rosé wine — these are the light, playful flavors of spring. And now that it’s warmer, I’m craving crisp tarts over heavy cakes and puddings. So this rhubarb and almond tart from Annie Rigg’s sumptuous new cookbook Summer Berries & Autumn Fruits could not possibly be more perfect.
To be honest, you could buy this beautiful book just for the pictures. But that would be a pity, because the fruit-focused recipes all sound as luscious as they look. Here’s a little taste.
Rhubarb and almond tart recipe
I love this tart with its contrast of sharp yet sweet vanilla and rose-scented rhubarb, nutty frangipane and flaky, buttery pastry crust. As a bonus, you don’t need any fancy pans, and it can be put together in no time at all. The rhubarb is very lightly softened in syrup before being baked on top of the tart. If you aren’t keen on rosewater, simply leave it out, and the frangipane would work equally well with a mixture of half almonds and half pistachios. Whichever way you bake this tart, be sure to serve it with plenty of cold crème fraîche or a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- 14 ounces slim-stemmed rhubarb
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 – 2 teaspoons rosewater
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise, or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- All-purpose flour, for dusting
- 1 (14-ounce) package store-bought all-butter puff pastry
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 medium egg yolk, lightly beaten
- 1 rounded teaspoon sliced almonds
For the frangipane
- 2/3 cup ground almonds
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 medium egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 pinch salt
- Rinse the rhubarb under cold, running water, and trim the ends. Cut each stem into lengths of about 2 inches. Put the sugar, rosewater and vanilla in a sauté pan, and add 3/4 cup of cold water. Bring slowly to a boil to dissolve the sugar, and then remove from the heat. Add the rhubarb, cover, and let soften in the hot syrup.
- Lightly dust the work surface with flour, and roll out the pastry into a rough oval or round shape — I don’t think you need worry too much about neatness for this tart, so long as the pastry is about 1/16 inch thick and the shape about 14 x 9 inches. Use a large knife to trim and neaten the edges. Carefully slide the pastry onto a large parchment-lined baking sheet, brush the milk around the edges of the pastry, and crimp and fold over to create a border. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, and make the frangipane. Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl, and beat well until smooth.
- Spread the frangipane over the pastry, leaving a 1/2-inch border all the way around, as it will spread slightly during cooking. Drain the cooled rhubarb from the syrup, and scatter with the frangipane. Brush the edges of the pastry with the beaten egg yolk, and scatter the tart with the sliced almonds. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F, and cook for another 20 – 25 minutes, until the frangipane is golden, the pastry crust crisp and the rhubarb tender. Best served warm, with a light dusting of confectioners’ sugar, on the day of making.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.