All winter I found myself with a hankering for rhubarb. If you’ve never tried rhubarb, oh what you are missing, especially if you like tart and tangy, as I do. It is an unusual plant, considered by most a vegetable but most often prepared as a dessert in pies and tarts and often paired with strawberries.
As a child I was warned, “The leaves of the rhubarb are poisonous!” by my mother, as she ardently cut away that toxic foliage of doom. Of course, this danger factor made rhubarb even more enticing; an exotic, poisonous vegetable elevated to dessert status was pretty darn special in my childhood Carolina kitchen.
Back in the day (like 25 years ago) rhubarb was also a farmers market harbinger of spring, like asparagus and fresh leaf lettuce. Now, with growing seasons blurred, it can be purchased in towns across the US from late winter into summer.
I am a hopeless foodie romantic, though and still prefer my rhubarb spring-grown. Or perhaps that is when my taste buds have been conditioned to expect it. Since I have never been known to argue with my taste buds, why start now?
This galette (fancy French term, folks, for free form tart) has sweet pâte brisée – more sugar here than an everyday pâte brisée recipe, mind you. I like the play of the sweet pastry, the nutty and rich almond filling and the tart rhubarb. Yes, the fillings do contain some sugar but let me repeat, rhubarb is t-a-r-t, so the sweetness is subtle. No missing the flavor tang here.
I served this galette with ice cream – a sweet tea flavored ice cream from Front Porch, a brand out of Mooresville, NC that I recently discovered. It made a nice flavor combo I must admit! Feel free to serve yours as you wish; with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream or even crème fraîche for all those genuine tart-n-tangy lovers out there.
Rustic Rhubarb Almond Galette
- 1 lb. rhubarb, washed and sliced into 1 inch pieces
- Juice of ½ lemon
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tbl. flour
- 1 tbl. cornstarch
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- ¼ tsp. ground dry coriander (NOT fresh cilantro)
- 1 Tbl. butter cut into small bits
- 1 egg yolk whisked with a little water
- 1 recipe almond filling (see below)
- 1 recipe pâte brisée (see below)
Place the raw rhubarb in a medium bowl, squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the rhubarb and stir. In a small bowl mix the cornstarch flour, sugar, and spices. Toss this mixture with the rhubarb and allow to sit while preparing the other elements of this recipe.
- 1 ½ cp + extra all purpose flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- 4 oz. good quality, chilled unsalted butter cut into pieces
- 4 tbl. cold water
In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or fork until the mixture resembles cornmeal. Stir in about half the water and add a little at a time until the dough starts to come together. It should not be sticky or too crumbly dry. Try not to handle the dough too much. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 egg white (reserve the yolk for the pastry wash)
Using a food processor with a sharp steel blade grind the almonds to as fine a consistency as possible. Add the sugar and grind some more. Add the egg white and the mixture will become a paste, which is the filling. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (like Siplat) over a large cookie sheet. Roll out the chilled pâte brisée dough (using a light touch and as little extra flour as possible) to a diameter of about 12 -14 inches. Do not roll out the dough too thin.
Transfer the dough to the cookie sheet. Spread with the almond filling to about 8 inches diameter. Do not spread to the edges of the dough. Stir the rhubarb filling again and carefully mound it onto the almond filling. Scrape out any juices that are left in the rhubarb bowl and pour over the rhubarb. Carefully gather the edges of the pastry and bring them up toward the rhubarb going all the way around the tart. Dot the top of the rhubarb filling with butter.
Bake the galette in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Then remove the galette and brush the pastry only with the egg yolk wash. Return the galette to the oven and reduce the heat to 350 degrees, baking for another 30 minutes or until the rhubarb is soft and the pastry golden brown.
Note: Juices will run out of the galette and may burn in the oven. I use a cookie or baking sheet with sides to catch anything before it hits the bottom of my oven. I also recommend a Silpat mat as any baked or burned juices will be easy to remove from the finished galette (and cleanup is a breeze!)