One of the most special things about early summer is the appearance of the Rhubarb Red in my back yard. If you grow rhubarb, or if you can buy it at your supermarket, nothing will beat the test of a rhubarb tart. Try this one today.
Rhubarb’s origins appear to lie in China, where the strain that was grown there was used for medicinal purposes. Ultimately the plant spread throughout Europe and, eventually, by the early 19th century, arrived here in North America. It was found for sale in public markets in North America by about 1822. There was some dispute whether rhubarb was a vegetable or a fruit and it took a New York court to decide that rhubarb, at least for purposes of import tariffs, would be considered a fruit. The decision was made to call rhubarb a fruit because although other countries use it in pickling and savory dishes, for the most part rhubarb here was used for sweet dishes. That tradition has lasted now almost 200 years.
This particular recipe begins with a shortbread type of crust that is carefully baked in an elongated pan with low sides. The shortbread is filled with a frangipane, which, if you have not had it before, is one of the most delicious flavors in baking goods. It comes to us from France, a country well known for the richness of its foods, and frangipane is among its richest flavors. The topping for this dish is an elaborate and stunning woven arrangement of the rhubarb. At the site you can see a photo of the completed dish.
The rhubarb’s tartness plays wonderfully well against the heavy richness of the shortbread and the frangipane. This dish takes a bit of time to prepare, but the frangipane can be made one day ahead of time to make things simpler. Each of the parts of the recipe could be broken up with help at every stage. Although this is not a beginner’s recipe, ambitious bakers should consider this dessert, if only to learn about the fantastic flavor of frangipane and how it works with other flavors.
This is a dish to make to wow your friends and family or when you want something supremely special to bring out. It will taste fabulous warm or cool, served alone or with ice cream or whipped cream. Find out how to make this recipe and many others at the website, Baking A Moment, by following the link below.
Learn MORE / Get RECIPE at Baking A Moment
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