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May and June are the happiest month of the year for us. Summer is in full swing, we’re rocking our Birkenstocks and Ontario grown strawberries are in full season providing endless dessert opportunities like this delicious Strawberry Rhubarb Tart. We originally tried a similar tart to this many years ago, I think it may have been a Daring Bakers challenge that Melanie picked up. Since then we’ve been making it every summer as strawberry season rolls into Southwestern Ontario. Every year sees us tweak something different, and we’ve finally got a product we’re proud to present to you.
The tart’s crust is not your typical flaky pastry crust, in fact its more like a thin and sweet layer of cake. It does remarkably well with the juicy fruits, soaking up the flavors without making the entire tart a soggy mess. We topped off the tart with a light dusting of icing sugar, it does more to please the eye than anything else. We recommend some freshly whipped cream to top off the tart, it’s well worth the extra calories.
If you’ve missed the rhubarb season, feel free to substitute any other seasonal fruit such as raspberry, blackberry, peach or nectarine. Try and get them while they are still a tad tart, the baking will bring out their natural sweetness.
If you’re looking for the tastiest source of locally grown strawberries in London (Ontario), look no further than Heeman’s. They are just outside of London (in Thorndale), a short 5 minute drive from the airport.
- 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup superfine sugar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 stick of butter
- zest of one lemon
- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk lightly beaten
- 500g fresh strawberries, halved
- 6 rhubarb stalks, cut into 2 inch pieces
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tbsp custard powder
- Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times until all the dry ingredients are mixed thoroughly.
- After grating the butter, or cutting into very small pieces, add to the dry ingredients in the food processor. Pulse the mixture until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs.
- Transfer the flour mixture into a large mixing bowl, making a well in the centre. Pour the beaten eggs and zested lemon into the well.
- Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips. Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.
- Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. You can refrigerate the dough overnight.
- Mix rhubarb, strawberries, caster sugar and custard powder in a large bowl and toss well. Set aside.
Putting it all together
- Once ready to assemble and bake, preheat oven to 200 C (400F). Once the dough has been chilled, roll it out on a floured surface to a rough 30cm (12") circle. Use it to line a 22cm (8.5") tart pan. Place in the refrigerator to chill.
- Once chilled, spread the filling into the tart and bake the tart until the pastry is golden, about 45-50 minutes. When baking the tart, place a cookie sheet below to catch any fruit juice drippings that might leak out.