Rhubarb tarts with toffee oat crumble
I don’t know about you, but this cold makes me want to hunker down at home, cook and be cosy. If nothing else, the oven heats up the house a bit more. Comfort food like pot pies, mash, and lots of slow-roasted meats have been working their way through my kitchen along with warm crumbles and tarts. Rhubarb is one of my favorite winter fruits, with its astringent sour flavour. Its not everyone’s taste, you either love it or loath it. The tartness works beautifully in these free-form tarts with a crisp oat topping. If you like something sweeter mix in a large handful of raspberries or sliced strawberries.
Puff pastry is a no-brainer for quick seasonal fruit desserts. The key to a delicate flaky crust is to not roll the pastry too thick. Otherwise it results in a tough base that is ugly to boot. Keep it about a quarter inch, the thickness of a pound coin. Another tip for success is to chill the pastry for 10 minutes before adding the fruit. If not, it can go greasy instead of puffing up. Other than that, they are dead easy and can be made start to finish in less than 45 minutes. Serve them warm with a scoop of creamy vanilla ice-cream.
Rhubarb cinnamon tarts with toffee oat crumble
prep time 20 minutes cooking time 20 minutes
400g (14 oz) rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 3 cm (1 1/4 inch) lengths
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour
4 tablespoon soft brown sugar
25g (1 oz/1/4 cup) rolled oats
20g (3/4 oz) unsalted butter
300g (101/2 oz) block all butter puff pastry
Preheat oven to 200ºC (400ºF/Gas 6). Place the rhubarb, cinnamon, orange zest and half the flour and sugar in a bowl and toss to combine. Set aside. Place the oats, butter and remaining flour and sugar in a small bowl. Mix together and set aside.
Roll the pastry out to 5 mm (1/4 inch) thick and cut out six 10 cm (4 inch) squares or circles. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper and chill for 10 minutes in the refrigerator. Arrange the rhubarb mixture on the pastry, leaving a 2 cm (3/4 inch) border. Spoon some of the oat mixture in the centre, leaving a border of rhubarb peeking at the edges. There is no need to fold the sides as they will puff up around the rhurbarb. Bake for 20 minutes or until crisp at the edges. Serve warm with ice cream or creme fraiche.