As a recipe developer, sometimes all it takes to get inspired to create a recipe is seeing an interesting photo somewhere on the web or in a book. In this case it was this wallpaper pattern:
Isn’t it pretty? Sure, nothing new, but still it has such a great 3-D quality to it.
I thought I was clever when I decided to make a tart with it, and using rhubarb to create the pattern, but oh was I surprised when I realised that everything already exists on the internet…
Ah well, MY version doesn’t exist yet, so I set out to create my own little recipe of a rhubarb tart.
I had lots ricotta in the fridge, so that had to be incorporated.
You will need:
- almond meal
- orange zest
For the base of the tart I chose to keep it simple. A nice buttery dough, made from flour, sugar, eggs and butter. Oh and a bit of orange zest, because who doesn’t like that extra bit of flavour?! Make sure the butter is cold, that will ensure your base is nice and flaky.
Mix all the ingredient for the base together. You can do it by hand, or use a mixer with a dough hook, or even a food processor. Once your dough comes together, form a ball, wrap, and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough and carefully lift it into your round baking tray. Best to use one with a removable bottom, but that’s really just for ease of cutting. Any tray will do.
Crumple up a piece of baking paper, then open it up again and place it on top of the dough. Fill with chickpeas or beans to blind bake until the dough is golden. Then you’ll remove the paper and chickpeas and let the tart cool slightly.
The frangipane filling
A frangipane is a French almond flavoured custard. Not to be mistaken with the flower ‘frangipani’ (like I did). Don’t think these flowers are edible…
Usually it’s just made with butter, eggs, almond meal and sugar. But as mentioned above, I had all this ricotta… so for my version we replace the butter with the ricotta. Hmmmm, so good!
Just mix the ingredients together and spread on top of the tart base.
Creating the pattern
It really doesn’t look too complicated, does it? Well… it sort of is, and sort of isn’t. If you get rhubarb stalks that are very similar in thickness, you’re half way there. Mine weren’t, so I cut a little bit off the side of the ones that were too thick.
If you don’t have a natural eye for size, I recommend you pull out a ruler for this one. Because the secret to getting this pattern to work is precision. You will want to cut perfect little parallelograms or diamonds, all exactly the same size. And each of the four sides of the diamond should be the same length. Trust me, the more precise you are in the prep, the easier and quicker it’ll be to lay the pieces onto the tart.
Bake and enjoy
All you need to do now is bake the tart until the rhubarb is soft. Once baked and cooled, lay a small plate on top of the tart and sprinkle the edges with icing sugar for decoration.
Rhubarb ricotta frangipane tart
- 125 g butter cold
- 80 g castor sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 200 g flour
- zest of 1 orange
- 2 tbsp cold water if needed
- 1 egg
- 100 g ricotta
- 100 g almond meal
- 80 g sugar
- 400 g rhubarb
- Sift the flour into a bowl. Add salt and sugar.
- Add the zest of one orange to the dry mix.
- Cut the cold butter into small pieces and rub into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles wet sand.
- Separate 2 eggs and mix the yolk into the dough until the mixture comes together and forms a ball. Don't over mix.
- If you need to add a little bit of water, add it one tablespoon at a time to help the dough come together.
- Wrap the dough in cling wrap, and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Once chilled, roll out the dough onto a floured surface, then use the rolling pin to lift it and carefully lower it into a greased tart tin, preferably one with a removable bottom.
- Cut off any overhanging dough, then pierce the dough a few time with a fork. Crumple up a piece of baking paper, then unfold it and place it on top of the tart base.
- Fill with dried chickpeas or beans, then bake for approx. 20-30 minutes until the dough is golden and cooked. Remove the beans and paper and let it cook for a few minutes.
- For the filling, mix ricotta, almond meal, sugar and egg until smooth.
- Spread over the semi-baked tart base.
- Wash the rhubarb stalks, then cut them into equal thickness.
- With a ruler, cut each stalk into diamonds (or parallelograms) where all sides are the same length.
- Starting with a star in the middle of the tart, fill the tart in the pattern as per photo.
- Bake until the rhubarb is soft, approx 45 minutes. If the tart shell is getting too dark, place aluminium foil over the edges.
- Once the tart is cooled, cover it with a small plate, then sift icing sugar over the edges