26 May 2015

Rhubarb Tarte Tatin

Much to my joy, one of the rhubarbs in the garden is blossoming once more. I've managed to give away a few more of the plants and am now down to five, which are still way more than Lundulph and I can manage in a year. Which is why I only harvest them every other year, meaning they get a full season to recover. I also don't force them to sprout earlier than they want to. This year I had several particularly thick and long stalks, so I decided to try out an idea I had last year - rhubarb tarte tatin, but where I'd create woven decoration from the rhubarbs themselves.


The recipe I used is Mary Berry's from the Great British Bake Off Season 3. I've done it before, because I've marked it as such. Shockingly I've managed to miss blogging about this at the time. I remember making it, as we took it as a gift to a friend's party and I'd been very successful with the caramel. That time I used apples, but this time it would be rhubarbs. Also I'm using a baking dish which is almost 30 cm in diameter.


200 g plain flour
50 g frozen butter
25 g frozen lard
5 tbsp cold water

175 g granulated sugar
6 tbsp water

10 thick rhubarb stalks at least as long as the diameter of the baking dish

75 g caster sugar
5 tbsp water or juices from the tarte tatin


  1. Measure up the flour in a bowl, then grate the frozen butter and lard and using a knife stir together to coat the fat.
  2. Add the water and carefully mix together to a stiff dough.
  3. Roll out to a rectangle, then fold the top third onto the middle and then fold the bottom third over that.
  4. Turn 90 ° and roll out again to a rectangle, then fold like before. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to chill for 20 - 30 minutes.
  5. Repeat the rolling and chilling once or twice more, depending on how much time you have.
  6. Trim and wash the rhubarbs, then using a potato peeler or a mandolin slicer, cut strips from the rhubarb, starting with the two narrow sides, then the two wider ones. Set the remaining core to one side.
  7. On a piece of baking paper or cling film, place half of the strips alongside each other with the cut side down.
  8. Using the remaining strips one at a time and keeping it cut side down, weave into the lined up strips.
  9. Continue until the woven area is large enough to fit in the bottom of the baking tin.
  10. Dice the left-over rhubarb cores.
  11. Pre-heat the oven to 220 °C (not fan assisted!)
  12. Now heat up the granulated sugar and water in a thick-bottomed pan on medium heat. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved completely, then remove the spoon, turn up the heat to high and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat once the caramel starts turning golden and pour into the baking dish, making sure the bottom is covered completely. If the sugar starts browning unevenly, shake the pan a little to make the sugar move around and brown more evenly, but do not stir.
  13. Carefully flip over the woven rhubarbs over the caramel and press down. Trim the edges if they are sticking up around the sides.
  14. Now add the diced rhubarb and also dice and add the trimmings.
  15. Roll out the dough to a circular shape, slightly larger than the baking dish. Transfer over the rhubarbs and tuck in the edges all around.
  16. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the crust goes golden and looks crispy.
  17. When the tarte tatin comes out of the oven, carefully drain the juices into another saucepan. If there are no juices, use water instead.
  18. Add the caster sugar and stir together over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid starts bubbling. Remove from the heat.
  19. Carefully flip out the tarte tatin onto a serving plate and the woven rhubarb pattern should be revealed. Brush with the sugar syrup, or even drizzle over the pie.
  20. Serve warm.

Even though my rhubarbs aren't very tart, the overall result of the tarte tatin required more sugar, so the syrup was enough for two servings Lundulph and I had earlier today. Perhaps next time I should squeeze in some golden syrup or the like before covering with the pastry.


Still, it worked out splendidly and very much like I'd imagined it. My only worry was that the woven strips would go mushy like rhubarb tends to sometimes, but using the outer parts of the stalks with the skin more or less intact seems to have allowed them to keep their shape.


We also had other plans yesterday, and I got a late start to the baking, which is why I only did 2+2 folds with one chilling in between. And I also had to interrupt the baking about half-way through as we had to leave for our appointments and I didn't want to leave the oven on. I finished baking when I came back and this worked fine - I'd left the pie in the oven and just switched it on, so I guess it got a bit longer bake than 40 minutes, but this didn't have any negative effect at all. I also didn't flip it out after baking, but only this morning. This meant that the pie had got stuck to the baking dish and I had to heat the bottom up on the hob for a few minutes to loosen it up a bit. It flipped out rather nicely onto the plate.

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