Summer gives us much to gather: family and friends around us for barbecues, concerts, or fireworks; shells on the beach; lightning bugs in jars for a homemade nightlight; or the bounty from our gardens. Well, not my garden - but if you're lucky, you have good neighbors with good gardens. I was grateful to be given a bunch of freshly picked rhubarb by my good and generous neighbor.
Enjoy these recipes... with family, friends or lightning bugs. Happy gatherings!
For the pastry:
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 pound / 227 grams chilled butter
4 - 6 tablespoons cold water
For the filling:
5-6 stalks rhubarb (approximate - depends on size of pie plate)
1/4 cup sugar (again - this is approximate - some like their rhubarb tart, some prefer it to be more sweet)
a few small pats of butter
First, make the pastry:
Combine flour, salt & sugar in a medium-large bowl - stir to mix.
Cut cold butter into cubes and add to flour. Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour mixture until pieces become small and mixture feels sandy.
Add 4 tablespoons cold water and mix in with a fork. Start to gather dough into a ball; if it’s still too crumbly, add another tablespoon or two of water, mix, and try again. (In the warmer summer air, you will need less water, probably just the 4 tablespoons.)
Divide the dough into two balls, placing each into cling film. Flatten into disks and wrap both tightly.
Refrigerate dough for about an hour before using. (You can make dough hours/days ahead and keep in refrigerator.)
Rinse the rhubarb, wipe away any dirt and chop off the root ends. Next chop the stalks into slices about 1 centimeter / 1/2 inch thick and put into a bowl. Sprinkle sugar over and let sit.
When pastry has chilled, turn on the oven to pre-heat: 210ºC/425ºF
Remove dough from refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll first disk and place in pie plate.
(In making this, I broke my favourite pie plate! Disaster! Had to make do and use the upside down lid of a glass casserole - the other pie tin I had was too shallow - you definitely want some depth for a rhubarb tart. It worked - and as it was slightly smaller than my old one, I made 2 mini pies as well.)
Fill with the diced rhubarb. Dot small pieces butter over (5 or 6).
Roll out second disk and lay over. (Don’t worry if crust doesn’t roll out perfectly! You can lay pieces over top to cover. Tip: keep the pastry on the cling film when you roll it out, it's easier to lift it up and flip it onto the pie, and then peel the plastic away.)
Pinch the edges together. Using a fork, prick a few small holes in top crust to allow steam to release.
Bake in pre-heated hot oven for 10 minutes. Turn oven down to 180º (160º fan) / 350ºF and continue to bake for 30-35 minutes, until crust is golden brown and you can see some juice in the cracks of that not so pretty but very tasty pastry.
(The sweet/tartness of this compote compliments pork very nicely. I served with grilled pork tenderloin)
Ingredients for compote:
1 red onion
1 tablespoon brown sugar
juice of 1 smallish orange
1 tablespoon water
1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb
Ingredients for pork:
1 tenderloin (fillet) approximately 600-700grams / 1 1/2 lbs
To make compote:
Slice onion into rounds and then dice each round into quarters. You don't want very long pieces of onion in the final compote.
Place into a saucepan with a splash of olive oil. Heat on high, stirring constantly until onion begins to soften. Turn heat down very low and allow to cook until translucent and very soft.
Add 1 teaspoon brown sugar (2 if you must have it sweeter) and the juice of 1 small orange. Turn the heat to medium, stirring.
Add chopped rhubarb and 1 tablespoon water. Stir. Put lid on pot and allow to cook.
After a 3-4 minutes, check to see that rhubarb softening. When it is soft, stir, turn off heat and allow to sit.
Prepare pork: trim away any of the silvery skin/sinew. Butterfly (cut straight down the middle, without slicing all the way through and flatten out a bit.)
Sprinkle the spices over both sides of meat and rub in a bit.
Heat the grill (I cooked mine under a grill/broiler in oven - great if you can use an actual grill though.)
Cook, turning once, for about 20 minutes. You can check internal temperature with an instant read thermometer - should be 63ºC/145º. Pork tenderloin can have a blush of pink in the center - you don't want to over cook it to retain its juicy tenderness.
Serve with compote on the side.