Sunday, 1 April 2012

Pretty as a Picture

Crostata di Rabarbaro, Mirtillo Rosso, & Arancia
Rhubarb, Cranberry & Orange Tart

This is my second little adventure with yummy rhubarb- but as simple as ever to make and as delicious as you have hopefully learned to expect from me ;-) I like to think that one of the important ingredients in a home-cooking recipe is simplicity... Why make life difficult for yourself, when some smart decisions can save you time, work, money and nerves?

So here we go again! Get your ovens heated up and get ready to cook! I am going to copy-and-paste a little here, as the rhubarb itself is prepared in the same way I prepared it for the clafoutis last week... but I am sure you will forgive me for that!

It's simple- you just need to decide when to make your rhubarb compote the night before... so you get a whole night's sleep into the deal and it is sitting there waiting for you, delicious as can be in the morning...

First things first- get your oven switched on at the highest setting and pre-heat it so you will be ready for action in just a few minutes... because it only takes a few minutes to prepare this!

Simply peel away the skin and the sinews from the rhubarb and rinse briefly, then cut it into bite-sized chunks and put it into and oven-proof dish. Add some berries- I chose to use dried cranberries this time, but raspberries would also work wonderfully. Sprinkle with cinnamon and either sugar, if you have no problem with that, or Stevia as I did- I simply wanted to try to make this sugar and fat free and see if it works... and of course it did! But if you want to use sugar- not a problem!

If you are making this for adults only, a shot of Cointreau goes with this very nicely- if not, simply add orange juice- half a cupful will do. Stir everything well and place into your hot oven for 20 minutes. After those 20 minutes are over, turn off the oven, turn off the light and go to bed. Seriously! Turn off the heat and let the rhubarb and berries continue to do their thing until they cool down. What happens is, that the natural pectin in the rhubarb, binds all of the delicious juices that it and the berries give off during cooking and what you are left with in the morning is a thick, rich berry and rhubarb sauce. The best thing of all is that you have not had any work at all, have not stirred everything up in a saucepan and caused it to become mashed and ugly- and that you are ready to go with making the tart! This is a good start to the morning- don't you think?

Ok- next step. Cut yourself a rectangular base of puff-pastry for the tart and then place 4 strips of pastry on top to form a "frame" of sorts. Poke little holes all over the middle of the pastry with a fork, so that you can bake it blind for 10 minutes, without it rising. Once it has baked for 10 minutes, remove it from the oven and cover it with the rhubarb and cranberry compote. Add a sprinkle of orange zest and bake for a further 10 minutes until golden brown... it's as simple as that! I blanched the zest in a little boiling water first, with a little Stevia to remove any bitterness and to soften it slightly before baking.

I enjoyed mine with a little low-fat cheese curd- we love this here in Germany! But whipped cream, yogurt or of course ice cream would also be delicious. Hope you try it out and find out for yourselves!

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