Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Tart with Almond Coconut Crust

Ah. The ubiquitous strawberry rhubarb dessert. I have been waiting for rhubarb to show up on the shelves and cost less than $5/lb. To be honest, I've only had rhubarb once before, but found it good enough that when I started this food adventure I resolved to use it at least once. Earlier last week  when I found some on sale, I started tossing around ideas with my mom, scouring the internet for recipes. I finally decided I wanted to do an almond crust. Then my mom mentioned coconut, and I was sold.

This dessert, while very easy, was plagued with some mishaps. This was the first graham cracker crust I have ever made from scratch, and it was kind of hating me. The recipe I used had too much butter in it, meaning that the crust didn't want to set after the recommended time in the oven. It took an extra 15 minutes to get it to stiffen up. Plus, the recipe I based it on had a bunch of comments saying that butter leaked out the side, which is why the poster directed the use of foil around the pan. My springform pan is apparently not crappy, and did not leak the butter, and was thus too wet. But have no fear, I fixed the recipe for you.

So, I added the filling, put the tart in the oven, baked it, and let it chill in the fridge while eating dinner. I made garlic "mashed" cauliflower, which was really great. Since it was about 6:30, I decided it was time to photograph the thing before I lost all light. And my tart stuck to the bottom of the pan. Coconut is sticky. So I improvised, with strawberries. The best light was in the front of the house, so I created a makeshift setup with the porch table on the driveway, and then moved my tart, laptop and camera outside. After about 10 photographs, I tried to turn the cake stand, and then life decided to suck. Non-stick springform pans are apparently really, really slippery, and will slide off of cake stands when moved the tiniest bit. The following resulted:

You can even see my ghetto makeshift setup! I work with what I have.

Luckily for all involved, and my sanity, I only lost a small piece of crust and about a third of the filling. Still edible, my parents and I sat down to try it. The crust was amazing. Best. Pie/Tart. Crust. Ever. The filling was very delicious too, and would have been fun with some blueberries even though such an addition would border too patriotic in my mind. So, despite the mishap, the tart tasted great. 

But then...then...the dog decided to do this:

Apparently, pulling out a plant and moving dirt in preparation for a new plant is an invitation to make a mess. What a day.

Coconut Almond Graham Cracker Crust
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup sugar
6 Tbsp melted butter

Strawberry Rhubarb Filling
3 cups sliced strawberries
3 rhubarb stalks, sliced (about 2.5 cups)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
splash of vanilla extract
splash of lemon juice

1. In a food processor, add the dry ingredients for the crust. When finely ground, slowly add in melted butter while the food processor is still on. When you get wet crumbs, and before it turns into a paste, stop! 

2. Preheat your oven to 350F with a lipped baking sheet inside.

3. Important: cover, at the very least, the bottom of a 9" springform pan with parchment paper. Try to get the sides if you can. Then spray the entire inside with cooking spray for double the protection. Sweetened coconut sticks, and you want a pretty tart. 

4. Press the crumb mixture into the pan, going up the sides at least 1". Try to make as even as possible. Bake for 12 minutes, until lightly browned and set. 

5. While your crust cools, mix all of the ingredients for the filling in a large bowl and mix around so all of the fruit (and vegetables!) are coated in the sugar. Let sit for 15 minutes, allowing the sugar to pull the juice. 

6. When your crust is cool, pour in filling, include liquid. Make sure that it doesn't go above the crust.

If you're smarter than me, you'll take the time to arrange the filling to look pretty.

7. Bake for 40 minutes. Check at 30 minutes, as you may need tinfoil to prevent the blackening of your crust. 

Nice & bubbly, ready to cool and then devour. Notice how brown the crust gets.

8. Let tart cool on the counter. When the bottom is no longer hot enough to burn you, place in fridge for at least an hour to help filling set. Then eat. And don't spill. 


Aunt Lynne said...

OK here's my idea: Forget the filling, make the crust and serve with fresh fruit, yogurt or whipped cream. OK: Forget the fresh fruit, just eat the crust. You could even forget cooking the crust, it sounds wonderful inventive and perfect!!!

Petes said...

I love it! I can't to try it. the crust alone is all I need.

Noelle said...

I want this! I want a slice today! Thanks for a great recipe. Cannot wait to use it!

Megan said...

You know what? Who knew you could combine my 3 favorites into something so delicious! What fun! I was a coconut in another life! Yummmm!

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