Rhubarb Frangipane Tart

Rhubarb was still available at the Farmer’s Market last week.  Actually, it’s still available in my garden. I’ve tested this recipe four times and since practice makes perfect, it’s time I got this recipe posted before the season is over for another year.

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Tart Dough, Pâte Sucrée
1 large egg yolk
4 tablespoons heavy cream, divided
1 3/4 cups (7 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) sugar
1/4 teaspoon koaher salt
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits

Frangipane (Almond Cream):
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (4 ounces/112 grams) almond flour*
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 large egg, preferably organic
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
zest of one lemon

To Finish:
About 15 stalks of rhubarb, cleaned of leaves and washed

For the tart dough:
In a small bowl, beat together the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of cream. Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

In the bowl of a food processor using the metal blade, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse a couple of times to combine. Toss the pieces of butter evenly over the flour. Pulse until the mixture looks crumbly and the butter pieces are about the size of peas. Don’t over-process or your crust will be tough. Add the egg yolk mixture and pulse just until the dough comes together.

The dough should begin to hold together. Stop before it forms a ball around the blade. Turn the dough out onto a counter. With the palm of your hand smear the dough away from you. Using a bench scraper, fold it back onto itself and smear again until the mixture is combined. Flattened and form it into a rectangle, wrap with the plastic, and chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit for 10 minutes or until it becomes malleable for easier rolling. Lightly dust a smooth surface as well as a rolling pin. Roll out a 10 x 13-inch rectangle of dough. Use your bench scraper and flip the dough over on occasion to prevent it from sticking. The trick is to work quickly so that the butter does not start to melt. Once rolled out to the correct size carefully place it in the tart pan. Fold the overhang back into the pan and pinch to form a ¼-inch rise above the pan. Return the tart shell to the refrigerator or freezer for at least 1/2 hour.

When ready to blind bake the tart dough preheat the oven to 400ºF.  After the oven has pre-heated, remove the tart shell from the refrigerator and place it on a sheet pan. Line it with parchment paper and pie weights. Bake for about 15 minutes or until it just begins to brown. Take out of the oven, remove the pie weights and parchment paper and set on a cooling rack. While the tart shell is cooling make the frangipane.

For the frangipane:
In the bowl of a food processor, using the metal blade whiz the butter and sugar together until the mixture is smooth. Note that if you make the frangipane soon after making the dough there’s no need to wash the processor bowl before making it.

Add the ground almonds and continue to process until well blended.  Add the flour and cornstarch, process again and then add the egg.  Process for about 15 seconds more, or until the almond cream is is smooth and fully combined.

Add the almond and vanilla extracts, salt, zest and process just to blend. Scrape the frangipane into a container and either use it immediately or refrigerate it until ready to use.

To finish the tart:
Set the cooled tart shell on a sheet pan. With and off-set spatula, spread the frangipane evenly in the cooled tart shell.  Cut the rhubarb to fit the size of the tart. Bake at 375ºF for about 1/2 hour or until the rhubarb can be easily pierced with a knife and frangipane is puffed and golden brown.  Allow to cool before serving.

*If you are unable to find almond flour is can easily be made. In the bowl of a food processor using the metal blade, combine the 4 ounces of blanched almonds with 1/3 cup of granulated sugar. Pulse until the almonds are finely ground.  Be careful not process so long that it becomes oily. Proceed with recipe above where the butter and sugar are combined.

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