I know we complain about the sweet foods dominating this list. But every once in a while, a sweet dish comes along that I look forward to revisiting…or dabbling with. One of these foods is Strawberry Rhubarb Pie – a classic summer desert melding tart late spring rhubarb with sweet early summer strawberries.

You’ll remember that for National Apple Pie Day I undertook to conquer my fear of making pastry. For today’s blog I wanted to mess around a little with puff pastry – another new realm for me. Unfortunately, because I spent so much time working on my failure of a Turkey Pot Pie Recipe, I didn’t make my puff pastry from scratch. Fortunately, the store bought puff pastry was still a fun thing to try, and worked like a hot dam. In fact, I may never get around to making it from scratch, when you can just get these little cubes of pastry goodness out of the freezer whenever you want one! So forgive me dear readers, I did not make a traditional pie (though you can find directions for one here), but decided to take the essential flavors of today’s food and set them loose on a puff pastry tart.

Step One: Make a rhubarb-strawberry sauce. Essentially all this entails is chopping both fruit (is rhubarb a fruit?!.. i guess not… anyways, you know what I mean) coarsely (1 1/2 cups each) and letting in macerate with a 1/3cup of white sugar. When the water starts to come out of the rhubarb after about 20 min, you can put it on the stove over medium heat, and slowly cook it down until you basically have strawberry rhubarb sauce. If necessary, thicken with a little cornstarch. Season with a little nutmeg and vanilla to taste. Allow to cool.

Step Two: After defrosting the puff pastry for the recommended time (approx. 2 hours) roll out the pastry on a floured surface. I had a 12″ square piece of pastry, so I opted to make two smaller square tarts and one larger rectangle. Cut the shape of your tarts out from the dough, slightly larger than you want them. Fold over and in at the edges–this will from the edge of your tart. With a sharp knife trim all away around the outside edge i.e. the rounded fold of the pastry. This will help the puff pastry rise. Prick all over on the the inside of the tart (i.e. where the filling will go) with a fork, so that the inside doesn’t puff up too much while it bakes.

Step Three: Once the SR sauce is cooled spoon some into the center of each tart. Top with strawberry slices. Place tarts on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake at 400c until the pastry is puffed an golden, about 20-25 min.

Step Four: As soon as the tarts come out of the oven, brush the center’s gently with strawberry jam to create a pretty glaze. This would also be a good time to sprinkle a little confectioner’s sugar or sliced almonds on top for extra wow factor (sadly, I had neither!).

Step Five: Serve and enjoy! These are definitely best served warm, with a big pool of the SR sauce on the side to drag the pastry through. Also good would be whipped cream or ice cream. You know the drill.

What can I say – this is summer in your mouth. And using frozen puff pastry means that this was a snap. In fact, I think I’ll try this again with whatever jam and ripe fruit I have on hand, as the summer progresses.

~Dea

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