Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rhubarb Tarts with Aprium Glaze

I didn't grow up eating rhubarb but I have just fallen in love with it over the past few years: this bright, tart vegetable- yes, vegetable- that we seduce into a dessert through sheer willpower (and lots of sugar) to fulfill or winter-long craving for fruity tartness.  These tarts showcase the rhubarb and puff pastry equally, a combination that can do no wrong.

The tarts also feature an aprium glaze.  Aprium?  Yes, these are a hybrid between apricots and plums (a 3:1 ratio, to be specific).  I was very excited when I saw these at the grocery store and immediately imagined a concoction with fresh fruit and pastry cream.  However, I found their texture to be a little lacking so I decided instead to use them for glazes and sauces.  They added just the right amount of floral sweetness to these rhubarb tarts.  If no apriums are to be found, an apricot would be just fine.

- 1 aprium
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 c. + 2 tbsp water
- 1/4 c. + 2 tbsp light brown sugar
- 2 c.  sliced rhubarb
- 1 approximately 10x16 sheet of puff pastry, thawed if store bought.

- Begin by slicing up the aprium and mashing it through a sieve into a bowl.  No need to peel it first: the sieve will take care of that.
- To the fruit puree and juices add the lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/4 c. water, and 1/4 c. brown sugar.  Whisk until combined.
- Slice the rhubarb at and angle to create longer slices.  Add the rhubarb to the bowl and toss to coat with the liquid.  Let marinate for 30 minutes.
- Prepare your puff pastry by cutting it into the desired shape and size, (I made four, but eight would be cute and perhaps ideal for individual servings).
- With a sharp knife, cut lines to mark the edges: this will help the puff pastry rise at the border.  Don't cut completely through the dough, just about half way.
- Arrange the rhubarb, without the juices, in the center of each piece of dough.  Make it look pretty!
- Bake the tarts at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until the the crust is golden.
- While the tarts bake, transfer the remaining juices into a small pot and add 2 tbsp. water and 2 tbsp sugar.
- Simmer the mixture on low heat, whisking occasionally, for about 5 minutes until it has thickened and is a bit syrupy.
- When the tarts come out of the over brush them all over ,(crust included), with the aprium glaze.  Let the tarts cool for at least additional minutes before serving.

Serve the tarts warm or at room temperature.  They are delicious on their own, but are also nice with a bi of vanilla bean ice cream.  Like most puff pastry desserts, they are best eaten the first day.  However, with a brief stop in the oven to crisp them up again, they are are still tasty the next day.

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