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Posts tagged ‘rhubarb’

Strawberry Rhubarb Tart Using Puff Pastry

I have a ritual that I do every time I cook, my kitchen must be thorougly cleaned, counters, floor, no dishes in the sink, every surface clean, for me it creates new energy and clears my kitchen. I also try to make sure everything I need is ready so I don’t have to go finding and grabbing with flour on my hands. So the ritual began early this morning in preparation for my puff pastry adventure. I had the butter in the freezer all night, the flour weighed and in the fridge as well. In retrospect I would not freeze the butter quite so hard because let me tell you it was hard work pounding that butter when it’s rock hard. In the video he makes it look easy, well not so much. I had it wrapped in plastic wrap which after a good pounding broke and I had to peel off the pieces from the butter. I decided to use a zip lock bag and sprinkled a little flour on the butter as per The Kitchn. It worked and I got the butter in a nice square and it was still pretty cold. The butter went back in the refrigerator while I rolled out the dough.

The dough comes together nicely in the food processor and forms a cohesive ball which I let rest for a few minutes under a damp tea towel. The hardest part of this recipe is pounding the butter initially, the rest goes very smoothly and if you have any frustration or feel the need to pound something try making puff pastry, it’s a stress reliever.

The first two turns went pretty well, it was hard to make it a neat rectangle but I did the best I could. After a 30 minute rest in the refrigerator I took it out for 2 more turns and there was a marked difference in the dough, it’s very soft, tender and pliable. Rolling it out was a breeze and doing the second set of 2 turns was easy. With only 2 more to go I have to say puff pastry is not all that much work but the proof is in the pudding I guess you can say and I was nervous to see how it turns out when baked.

Final Analysis: AMAZING recipe, with the exception of trying to pound frozen butter it was so easy to make. Honestly, I will never buy puff pastry again. It’s tender, flaky, buttery, pretty much perfect. I have enough dough in the freezer for another large tart. This recipe is a keeper. Also note, I am convinced using a good European butter is key, I used Kerrygold unsalted butter and it really does make a difference.

ready for the 4th turn see the flecks of butter

6 turns and I’m done, smooth, supple and feels like a beautiful dough if you look closely you can still see pieces of butter


strawberries and rhubarb

3 stalks rhubarb, washed, ends removed and cut into approximately 1/4 inch pieces

1 punnet of strawberries, trimmed, hulled and cut into pieces (quartered or halved depending on size)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp orange zest

dash of salt

2 tsp cornstarch

Mix everything in a bowl and let sit until sugar has melted and fruit has given off juices. Drain but save the juice. After draining sprinkle the cornstarch on the fruit and mix with a spoon. Pour the saved juice into a sauce pan and cook on medium heat until thick and reduced slightly. When you remove the tart from the oven cool for about 15 minutes then drizzle the thickened syrup on top of the tart. It’s delicious.

docked and ready for the fruit

Making the tart

Cut your dough in half and freeze the other half. Roll into a rectangle, using a sharp paring knife make a slice not all the way through so cut gingerly, you want the slice about an inch from the edges. Roll the edges to the cut line, dock the inside of the dough well with a fork (this is so it doesn’t puff). Arrange fruit on the dough, brush the edges with egg white that has been beaten with a fork. Sprinkle some finishing sugar or turbinado sugar on the whole tart. Bake in a pre heated 400 degree oven until golden brown and bubbly this tart took about 35-40 minutes.


Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream

Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream

Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream

I made this ice cream to go with the chiffon cake and roasted strawberries and rhubarb. There is nothing like home made ice cream, I love making it and love eating it even more. I wanted to try using some of the rhubarb simple syrup in an ice cream base, I was a little afraid it might turn out icy but it didn’t this was so creamy and wonderful. I adapted David Lebovitz base recipe for vanilla ice cream making some additions and subtractions. His ice cream recipes are genius and I have not been disappointed with any that I have made. I also added some of the roasted strawberries and rhubarb after the ice cream finished churning. It went perfectly with the chiffon cake. I just have to say we had a fantastic Mothers Day lunch, my lovely daughter made all the food, I brought the dessert and we had a wonderful time. I plan on posting her recipe for fried chicken, it’s the best I have had.

Strawberry Rhubarb Ice Cream

  • 1 cup whole milk or half and half
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbs cream cheese at room temperature
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup rhubarb syrup
  • 1 cup roasted strawberry rhubarb  drained and chopped into small pieces

1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan.

2. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks,  gradually pour some of the hot milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.

3. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.

4.Whisk the hot custard into the cream cheese, continue whisking until there are no lumps. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight.

5. Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. While the ice cream is churning add the rhubarb syrup through the hole on top of the ice cream maker. Place ice cream in freezer container, fold in the strawberries and rhubarb and place in freezer until it’s scoopable.

Happy Mothers Day-Chiffon Cake With Roasted Strawberries And Rhubarb

Chiffon Cake

Chiffon Cake

I make this cake all the time, it’s light and has a velvety texture, it is similar to angel food cake, baked in an ungreased tube pan and laden with whipped egg whites, the difference here is that this cake contains oil (yes oil not butter) and egg yolks. Chiffon cake was big in the 1950’s and makes a very elegant dessert served with your choice of fruit or berries and some whipped cream it is absolutely delicious. The cake is lightly scented with lemon, rises high above the pan and is light as a feather. I have tried many recipes, but when I came upon this one from the great James McNair I found a keeper. It’s the only recipe I use and it turns out perfectly every time. Wrap what you don’t use well and keep in a cool dry place, the cake stays fresh for several days. You can also wrap well and freeze, it defrosts beautifully. Happy Mothers Day to all the Mom’s!!

Chiffon Cake

From James McNair’s Cakes

2 cups cake flour

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar (divided)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup egg yolks (from 6-7 large eggs) at room temperature and lightly beaten

3/4 cup water

2 tsp lemon zest

1 tbs pure vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup egg whites (from approximately 10 eggs) at room temperature

1 tsp cream of tartar

Make sure your rack is in the middle of oven and pre heat to 325 degrees. Have a 10 inch angel food cake pan with removable bottom ready. You do not need to grease or flour the pan.

Place the flour, 1 1/4 cups of the sugar, baking powder and salt in strainer or sifter and sift into a large metal bowl. Add the water, egg yolks, oil, lemon zest and vanilla. Beat with electric mixer until very smooth approximately 1 minute. Set aside.

In the metal bowl of a stand mixer with a wire whip  beat the egg whites on low speed until frothy, add the cream of tartar and increase speed to medium and beat until very soft billowy mounds form, with mixer running slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar a tbs at a time and beat until very stiff but not dry (about 6 minutes) It’s important that the egg whites be beaten until stiff.

Transfer about 1/4 of the beaten egg whites into the cake batter and stir gently to incorporate and lighten the batter. Add the remaining egg whites and using a large balloon whisk or rubber spatula gently fold into the batter until incorporated.

Gently scrape the batter into the cake pan and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula. Bake until the cake springs back when lightly touched with your fingertip in the thickest part of the cake and a wooden skewer comes out clean. Baking time is about 1 hour. NOTE: You don’t want to open the oven door until the prescribed baking time is just about up, the cake could fall if you do this, so leave it for at least 55 minutes before you test the cake for doneness.

Remove pan from the oven and let it cool upside down you can use a bottle for this, the cake should be elevated. The cake rises quite high so it’s important not to let the upside down cake rest on the surface of the counter. Let cool completely at least  1 1/2 hours.

To remove cake from pan, place pan upright on work surface and using a thin blade knife carefully insert on the side of the pan careful not to cut the cake and holding the pan in place work your way around the cake, then do the same in the center around the tube. Carefully lift the bottom of the pan and with the cake sideways tap the bottom of the pan to loosen the cake, if necessary run the thin blade of the knife around the bottom to loosen. Invert onto cooling rack and transfer to serving plate.

Roasted Strawberries and Rhubarb

2 stalks rhubarb cleaned and chopped

2 cups fresh strawberries, cleaned and cut in half

1/2 cup sugar

3 tbs cointreau or your favorite fruity liquor

pinch of salt

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees, line sheet pan with parchment. Add the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar,salt and cointreau  to a bowl, toss to combine and turn out onto sheet pan.Lay berries and their juices in a single layer and bake until berries and rhubarb are soft about 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Set aside

Serve cake with the strawberries and rhubarb and a generous dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream or a scoop of your favorite ice cream. Delicious!

Chiffon cake, strawberries and rhubarb

Chiffon cake, strawberries and rhubarb

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

This is almost too simple to post but I just had to, it’s so good. I know there are a million recipes out there for flavored syrups but I wanted to share this. I love making syrups, all different flavors I use them all summer for drinks, sorbet, ice creams and in desserts. Have I mentioned how much I love making syrups. I have the blood orange syrup, now rhubarb and I think I will make grapefruit. They are so simple to make, last forever refrigerated and have so many uses. The color is gorgeous too! How about a snow cone on a hot summers day, shaved ice and fruit syrup, Delicious!!! Note: For more intense rhubarb flavor increase rhubarb to 2 stalks, increase sugar to 1 1/2 cups and water to 1 1/2 cups.

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

Makes 12 oz

1 large stalks rhubarb

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

juice of half a lemon (approximately 2 tbs)

Add everything to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil, reduce heat to med/high and cook at a low boil for 5-7 minutes or until rhubarb is very soft. Turn off heat and let sit in the pot for 10 minutes. Strain into sterilized jar pressing on the rhubarb to get every bit of juice. Cover and refrigerate.