Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Rhubarb & Ginger Almond Tart

This is a variation on the frangipane tart theme and a perfect example of how, once you understand and are confident with a making a basic recipe, it can be adapted to incorporate seasonal ingredients.

Whilst beautifully pink, forced rhubarb is in season during the winter months, common rhubarb is in season now and believe me is growing like a weed in my garden with all the rain we have had recently! Not that I am complaining, because I love rhubarb and look forward to pulling my first few stalks every year.

The tart is topped with fresh rhubarb but a layer of rhubarb & ginger jam is also included under the almond sponge/frangipane. You can leave out the jam if you prefer, but I love the extra flavour kick it gives to the finished tart.
 
This can be baked as one individual tart, as I have done, or you can bake smaller, individual tarts.
 
I am giving my recipe for rhubarb & ginger jam, as it is incredibly tasty and a great way of using up a glut of rhubarb, but you can always use a store-bought version. The recipe that I use is based on one that I came across in BBC Good Food Magazine and which I have been using for years.
 
Rhubarb & Ginger Jam
 

Ingredients:

1kg rhubarb, cleaned, trimmed and chopped into 2-3cm lengths
1kg jam sugar (i.e. with added pectin)
1 lemon, zest and juice
3 balls of stem ginger, finely chopped
5cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated

Method:

1. Place 2 or 3 small saucers in the freezer to use later when testing for the setting point of the jam.
2. Place the prepared rhubarb into a large bowl and add the sugar, lemon zest and juice, the stem ginger and grated fresh ginger. Mix everything together and leave aside for 2 or 3 hours until the sugar dissolves into the rhubarb juices.
3. Tip the fruit and juices into a large heavy saucepan or preserving pan and place over a moderate heat. Stir the mixture to make sure all the sugar has dissolves and bring up to the boil.
4. Reduce heat slightly but make sure that the mixture is bubbling away fairly briskly. (Note: you only need to give it an occasional stir at this stage).
5. Allow to bubble away for about 15 minutes or until the fruit is soft and setting point has been reached.  To test for setting point: Drop about ½ teaspoon of the jam onto a cold saucer and leave it for 30 seconds before gently pushing it with your finger tip. The jam will wrinkle if setting point has been reached.
6. Remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the mixture to rest for 5 minutes, before ladling into sterilised jars. Seal immediately.

Makes 4-5 x 450g jars approximately.
 
Rhubarb & Ginger Almond Tart
 

Ingredients:

Pastry:
175g plain flour
50g icing sugar
100g butter, cubed
1 large egg yolk
1tblsp water
Frangipane:
125g butter, softened
125g caster sugar
125g ground almonds
2tblsp plain flour
1tblsp Amaretto (optional)
To finish:
100g rhubarb & ginger jam
5-6 thin stalks of pink rhubarb
50g apricot jam
2tblsp Amaretto (or water)
 

Method:

Pastry:
1. Sieve the flour and icing sugar together into a large mixing bowl. Add the cubed butter and rub into the flour and icing sugar using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
2. Make a well in the centre and add the egg yolk and water. Mix using a fork until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Turn out on to a lightly floured work-surface and knead briefly. Form into a ball. Wrap in cling-film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes in order to give the pastry a chance to relax.
Frangipane:
3. Place, the butter and caster sugar into a mixing bowl and, using a hand-held electric mixer, beat together until light and fluffy. Add the ground almonds and mix until fully incorporated. Mix in the eggs and then add the flour and Amaretto and mix these through also. Set aside until required.
To finish:
4. Preheat the oven to 190C/Fan Oven 170C/Gas Mark 5. Roll the pastry out thinly on a clean lightly floured work surface and use to line a 20-23cm round fluted tin with removable base or as I have a used an oblong tranche tin.
5. Spoon the rhubarb and ginger jam onto the pastry and level out so that it covers the pastry in a thin layer.
6. Spoon the frangipane on top of the jam and spread out evenly to the pastry edges.
7. Cut the rhubarb into even lengths and if using a tranche tin, place military fashion on the frangipane. (Alternatively place like the spokes of a wheel, radiating out from the centre if using a circular tin).
8. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and the frangipane has risen slightly and feels spongy to the touch.
9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before brushing with some of the apricot glaze.
To glaze:
10. Place the apricot jam and Amaretto (or water) in a small saucepan and heat until just bubbling. Allow to bubble gently for 2 minutes and then strain through a sieve into a small clean bowl. Discard the solids that collect in the sieve.
Brush the glaze on top of the baked tart using a pastry brush. Set aside to cool completely before serving at room temperature.

Serves 8.