Rhubarb and ginger tart
This is a lovely seasonal twist on my recipe for apricot bourbon tart (you might have seen it in The Guardian). I love anything involving frangipane and I’m always striving to attain pastry perfection. My grandma made the best pastry and whilst she may not have approved of my ‘cheat’ of using booze for extra crispness I definitely think she would have approved of this tart. Not least because the filling uses rhubarb, which she used to grow by the ton.
The ginger is a nice addition to the frangipane, adding a little bit of spice and some extra texture to the light, fluffy almond filling.
This is delicious warm or cold, served with cream or ice cream.
200g plain flour
100g cold butter
50g icing sugar
1 egg yolk
25ml of cold water or gin (gin makes the pastry lighter)
80g ground almonds
50g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp milk
2 balls of stem ginger and 1 tbsp of the syrup from the jar
Start by making the pastry. Sift together the flour, cornflour and icing sugar and then rub in the butter (or combine them in a food processor). Lightly beat the egg yolk (keep the white for later) with the water or gin and then use this to bring the other ingredients together to form a smooth soft ball of dough.
Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate it for 20 minutes to allow it to rest. Once it’s rested roll the dough out into a large disc, about 2-3mm thick. I like to do this between sheets of grease-proof paper so that I don’t incorporate any extra flour into the dough, which can result in tough, chewy pastry. Grease a loose bottomed tart tin and then carefully line it with the dough. Trim away any excess dough but don’t discard it, you can use it for decoration later. Cover the pastry and put it back in the fridge to rest for another 20 minutes.
Pre-heat your oven to 190°c. Cover the rested pastry with a sheet of grease-proof paper and pile on some baking beans. Bake the tart crust for 20 minutes and then for a further 10 minutes uncovered. By now the crust should be golden and crisp. If it looks like the edges are getting a bit too brown just cover them with some baking parchment. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°c and set the tart case aside.
Now you can start on the filling. Beat together the butter and sugar until they are light and fluffy. Mix in the ground almonds, ground ginger, flour and baking powder. Add the eggs, one at time followed by the milk and the ginger syrup, beating until you have a nice soft batter. Finely chop the ginger and fold it through the batter.
Pour the filling into the pastry case and smooth off the top. Give the rhubarb a wipe with a piece of damp kitchen roll and slice it to suit whatever pattern you want to make on the top. Arrange the rhubarb on the filling and push it down into it ever so slightly. Add any extra pastry decoration you might want to. The spare white left over from making the pastry makes an excellent glue for this and also gives the crust a nice shiny finish. Bake the tart for 25-30 minutes. Enjoy hot or cold with a dollop of cream.