With our schedules packed to the gills I often wonder if I can make a post "short and sweet". Sweet? Yes I can! Short? Yeah….not likely. I may start thinking I don’t have much of a story to go along with a post and three paragraphs in, I realize I will never have nothing to say. Why? Because I love to listen and pay attention.
When I was a little girl, maybe three or four years old, I was on the train with my mom actively listening to a conversation between the 2 ladies seated on the same banquette. I think I made them uncomfortable listening to them with such purpose that at the next stop, they moved to the banquette right behind us. Not even five minutes went on that I turned around, tapped on one of the ladies’s shoulders and exclaimed " Parle plus fort, j’entends pas!". "Speak louder I can’t hear!"
I remember to this day what they were talking about. Embroidered handkerchiefs. See? I register everything. Down to the scent of the rhubarb tart my grandmother used to make for us in the summer. Since this year’s first ventures and posts with rhubarb, I have had a craving for Grandma’s rhubarb and custard tart and a couple of attempts left me seriously bruised in my hopes of finding that elusive scent. That one enticing flavor I could not pinpoint until last week when I was organizing the spice cabinet and exclaimed out loud "Je sais! C’etait de la cardamome!" (I got it! It was cardamom!)
I have made her tart twice in tartelettes format (and plenty of other sweet treats) since I spotted local rhubarb at the farmers market (more fragrant and tart than store bought) and each time that precious scent of cardamom permeated the air and everything around the house transporting back to the days she was still around. The woman knew her tarts, that’s a fact. Apples were a fruit of choice but her custard rhubarb pie was something to come home to. Always. A slice of her tart and you will remember it forever.
Where am I going with all this "remembering this" and "nostalgia that"? Well, this coming Thursday is my birthday and I can’t remember for the life of me what I did last year to celebrate. I know what I made to celebrate (blogs are precious tools for that!) but can’t figure out if we stayed in and went out. How much Champagne did I have to completely forget?! Ha! I also get nostalgic around this time which was the perfect opportunity to make her famous pie. I made 8 small ones. Bill had one. That leaves one for every day of the week that I am celebrating being a year older.
This year, we are starting the celebrations tonight with dinner. Tomorrow with drinks with friends and more celebration on the due day, Thursday. I figured it would be a sure way to remember next year what I did if I packed the week with plenty of opportunities to
create memories find trouble. Eheheh! Right now I am knee deep in strawberry jam with the 20 pounds or so that Fanny and I picked up at Ambrose farm yesterday. The house smells divine. I did put a couple of bowls aside to mix with creme fraiche and serve along side the tartelettes. The resulting scene this morning (yes, tarts for breakfast!) was as delicious as it tasted.
I will do my best to save one for Thursday, the actual birthday. They are so good as they are with cardamom in the dough and custard and softly poached pieces of rhubarb. Not sure I can make them last.
Makes eight 3-inch tarts or one 9-inch tart.
For the crust:
5 tablespoons (70gr) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup (80gr) brown rice flour
1/2 cup (60gr) millet flour
1/4 cup (30gr) sorghum flour
1/4 cup (40gr) corn starch
(or 1.5 cups of all purpose flour if not using gf flours & cornstarch)
1/2 teaspoon xantham gum
2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup cold water (optional if the dough seems too dry)
For the filling:
1 cup (200gr) sugar
1 cup (250ml) creme fraiche (or sour cream)
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
Prepare the crust:
In a mixer, whip the butter on medium speed until light and airy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time and beating well after each addition. Mix until incorporated. Add the cardamom, salt, and all the different flours, and the xantham gum and mix briefly. Add some water, one tablespoon at a time if the dough feels too dry. Dump the whole mixture onto a lightly floured (use more rice flour) board and gather the dough into a smooth ball. Flatten the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Preheat oven to 350F and position a rack in the center.
When the dough is nice and cold, roll it out on a lightly floured board or in between two sheets of plastic to fit your prefered pie pan or eight 3-inch tart rings. If the dough tears while you roll or/and transfer into the pan, just patch it with your fingertips. Line the dough with a piece of parchment paper, fill with pie weights or dy beans and par bake for 10-15 minutes until almost completely baked. Remove the weights and parchment paper. At this point you can refrigerate the baked crust for up to 5 days before using.
Prepare the filling:
Preheat the oven to 350F and position a rack in the center.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until the mixture is pale and airy. Add the creme fraiche and cardamom and whisk until well blended.
Divide the poached rhubarb pieces (you may not need the whole quantity but you can freeze it for up to 3 months if needed) at the bottom of each pre baked shell and divide the filling accordingly. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden.
If you have leftover filling, place in a baking cup and bake alongside the tarts. Bonus baked egg custard!
Le P’Tit Coin Francais:
Tarte a rhubarbe:
Pour une tarte ou 8 minis
Pour la pate:
70gr beurre mou, non sale
3 jaunes d’oeuf
pincee de sel
pincee de cardamome
80gr farine de riz brun
60gr farine de millet
30gr farine de sorghum
40gr de maizena
(ou de 210gr de farine blanche)
1/2 cc de gomme de xantham
Pour la garniture:
200 gr sucre
230 gr creme fraiche
1/2 cc cardamome
Preparer la pate:
Dans le bol d’un mixer, battez le beurre pendant 1 minute. Ajoutez les jaunes d’oeufs un a un, tout en melangeant bien apres chaque jaune. Ajoutez le sel, cardamome et les farines sans gluten, le sel et la gomme de xantham. Melangez brievement et verzes le contenu sur un plan de travail. Ramassez en boule et metter au refrigerateur pendant une heure.
Prechauffez le four a 180C et positionnez une plaque au milieu.
Etalez la pate sur un plan de travail legerement farine (farine sans gluten de preference), ou entre deux feuilles de papier sulfurise. Foncez en un plat a tarte (mini ou pas), mettre une feuille de papier sulfurise dans le fond, et des pois/riz. Faire pre-cuire 10-15 minutes. Sortez la tarte du four et laissez refroidir.
Preparer la garniture:
Dans un grand bol, fouetter les oeufs et le sucre jusqu’a ce que le melange blanchisse. Ajouter la creme fraiche et la cardamome et battre jusqu’a obtention d’un melange homogene.
Placer des morceaux de rhubarbe au fond des tartes, ajoutez assez d’appareil a garniture pour les recouvrir et faites cuire 20-25 minutes a 180C.