My husband Randy likes to rate things on a scale from 1 to 10. The rating system applies to meals he has had, presentations he has done, movies he has seen. It is a way for his linear mind to organize input. My non-linear mind has no need for such organization so I find it somewhat irksome that he often asks me to rate certain things. I can’t assign a number to a meal or an experience. When he presses me, I will come up with a number, but it feels so wrong to me and I immediately question whatever number I have chosen.
Having said all that, I have no problem telling you and anyone else who will listen that this dessert is a 10. It was that good. This is huge because for me, desserts fall into one of two categories. #1 – Chocolate, #2 – Everything Else. I call that second category “sort of desserts”. Don’t get me wrong, I love lemon and I love apple but they are not chocolate and therefore not truly dessert…in my opinion. The possible exception here is caramel which I love with enough passion to put it in the chocolate category.
If you scroll through the dessert section of this site, you will notice plenty of non-chocolate things. That is because I am almost always baking for people other than myself and I recognize that there are many misguided souls out there who don’t fully appreciate a chocolate dessert – my husband being one of them. In the interest of broadening my horizons, I decided to make this rhubarb tart (rhubarb? not even on my radar) for a dinner party on Saturday night. It is in season right now and I know there are people who feel about rhubarb the way I feel about chocolate, my husband being one of them.
Where to start? The recipe is perfect. The crust was easy to work with and had just the perfect hint of sweetness. The rhubarb is cooked down with plenty of brown sugar and cinnamon, so a sweetness emerges, but it still retains it’s delightful tang. The crisp part is amazing as the crisp part of crisp desserts always is – the difference being that here there is a ton of it but not so much so that it is all you taste. Again, the flavors and textures are perfect – a very well-written recipe.
And then there is the ice cream. Brown Sugar – Sour Cream Ice Cream. Do I really need to attempt to find words to describe it? Suffice it to say that is the perfect match for the tart. This is only the second time I have made ice cream and, as with the first time, I wondered why I don’t do this everyday. If you have made ice cream you know, the texture and flavor cannot compare with store-bought – even the very best store-bought. And it really takes no effort. If you are looking for a perfect spring time tart, look no further.
Rhubarb Streusel Tart with Brown Sugar – Sour Cream Ice Cream
The Farm to Table Cookbook
Makes one – 9 inch tart
For the Crust:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 egg yolks
For the Streusel:
6 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 1/2 tbsp. almond paste or marzipan
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
For the Filling:
1 1/2 pounds (about 6 cups) rhubarb, thinly sliced
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1. To make the crust, blend the flour, sugar, salt, and butter in a food processor or an electric mixer with the paddle attachment until the butter lumps are no larger than peas. Whisk the egg yolks in a small measuring cup and add enough water to make 1/4 cup liquid; add to flour mixture. Mix until the dough just starts to come together. (DT: I had to add another couple tablespoons water to get the dough to come together. I also used ice cold water.) Gather the dough, shape into a disc, and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.
2. To make the streusel, combine the butter, almond paste, sugar, flour, and cinnamon in food processor and process until the mixture is in fine crumbles. (Alternatively, use a pastry blender.) Refrigerate until needed.
3. Allow the dough to stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Roll on a lightly floured surface into a 1/2-inch-thick disc, frequently rotating the dough to prevent sticking. Transfer to a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Ease the dough into the pan, fitting it to the pan’s contour with fingertips, leaving some dough hanging over the edges. Trim the pastry edges by rolling the pin over the rim and discard trimmings. Freeze the shell until firm, about 30 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
5. Make the rhubarb filling by combining the rhubarb, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a large sauté pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the rhubarb is fall-apart tender, about 10 minutes.
6. Fill the tart shell with the rhubarb mixture to within 1/2 inch from the top of the crust. Sprinkle on the streusel and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake until the streusel is golden brown and the filling is bubbly, about 45 minutes. Transfer the tart shell to a wire rack and cool completely. Using a small sharp knife, gently loosen the crust from sides of pan. Push up pan bottom to release tart. Serve with ice cream.
Brown Sugar – Sour Cream Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart
2 cups half-and-half
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
8 egg yolks
2 cups sour cream
1. In a small saucepan, scald the half-and-half over medium-low heat until hot.
2. Whisk the brown sugar and egg yolks together in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in the half-and-half.
3. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula until the mixture thickens enough to coat it, about 5 minutes.
4. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a metal bowl. Refrigerate until cold, then whisk the sour cream into the half-and-half mixture and freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.