Baked Rhubarb Kisses
Rhubarb custard fills tiny tarts which are served, three at a time, on strawberry juice with strawberry-rhubarb coulis, rhubarb julienne, and creme anglaise. The tart shells may be made ahead of time and brought to room temperature when you are ready to use the.
- Tart Shells
- Flour - 1-1/2 cups
- Salt - 1/4 teaspoon
- Sugar - 1/3 cup
- Egg Yolks - 3, large
- Vanilla extract - 1/2 teaspoon
- Unsalted Butter - 1/2 cup, cold, cut into bits
- Rhubarb Coulis
- Rhubarb - 1 pound fresh stalks
- Dry white wine - 3/4 cups
- Honey - 2 tablespoons
- Eggs - 3
- Sugar - 1/3 cup
- Flour - 1/3 cup
- Rhubarb Coulis (above)
- Strawberry Juice - 1-1/2 cups
- Strawberry coulis - 1 cup (see Basics, fruit purees and coulis)
- Creme anglaise - 1 cup
- Confectioner's Sugar - For dusting
To make the tart shells: Sift the flour, salt, and sugar together. Drop the egg yolks and vanilla into the center of the dry ingredients and mix together with your fingers to moisten the dry ingredients. Work the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers, then cut with a pastry blender or a fork until the mixture has a mealy texture. Gather the pastry and form into a ball; turn out on a work surface. Using the heel of your hand, press the pastry away from you until very thin, then gather it up and press again, working just until it pulls clean of the surface and is pliable; this step evenly works the ingredients through the dough. Gather into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Roll the pastry out thin on a lightly floured board. Cut into 12 circles to fit inside 12 deep individual miniature tart molds. Press into the molds, trimming any excess at the top. Place on a baking sheet and blind bake until crisp and golden, about 10 minutes. Remove and cool on the baking sheet. The raw tart crusts may be sealed in freezer wrap and kept 4 to 6 weeks in the freezer; the baked crusts may be stored up to 3 months in the freezer. If using prebaked frozen crusts, bake for 5 to 10 minutes at 350 F to re-crisp them, then cool before using.
To make the coulis: Remove all leaves by cutting across the stalk and discarding; rhubarb leaves are toxic. Trim off the bottoms of the stalks. Peel the rhubarb, cut lengthwise into small julienne, and reserve 12 to 16 pieces for garnish. Dice the remaining rhubarb. Reserve 1/2 cup diced rhubarb. Place the remaining rhubarb dice in a non-aluminum pot or large pan and toss with the wine and honey; let marinate for 1 hour. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil; reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer 30 – 45 minutes, until softened to mush. Drain if necessary and puree; strain through a fine-meshed sieve to remove any strings. Set aside 1/3 cup of rhubarb coulis for garnish.
To make the filling: Fill a large bowl with ice. Combine the eggs and sugar in a saucepan and place over medium heat. Whisk as it is heating, whisking more rapidly as it gets warmer. When the mixture reaches 100 F and has thickened slightly, remove from heat, place the pan in the ice, and whisk until the mixture cools down.
In a separate bowl, cream the butter until fluffy, then beat in the flour. Add a large spoonful of the egg batter to the butter mixture and blend completely. Add a second spoonful of the egg batter to the butter mixture and stir to blend. Place the egg batter pan back in the ice bath. Add the butter mixture to the remaining egg batter and fold in over the ice. Blend about one third of the batter into 3/4 cup of the rhubarb coulis, then fold the coulis into the batter. Cover with plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes.
To bake the tarts: If the tart shells are refrigerated, bring to room temperature. Leave the tarts on the baking sheet. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Fill the tart shells with the rhubarb filling and sprinkle the reserved diced rhubarb on top. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, until the filling has puffed and is golden. Remove and let cool slightly.
To serve: Fill 12 dessert plates with a thin coating of strawberry juice. Combine the strawberry coulis with the reserved rhubarb coulis and spoon an S-curve of coulis on one side of each plate. Put the creme anglaise in a squeeze bottle and drizzle over the strawberry juice. Divide the reserved rhubarb julienne among the plates and place a cluster on each plate. Dust the tarts with confectioner’s sugar and arrange three tarts on each plate.