Rhubarb may be one of my favorite vegetables to eat raw and may be that is influenced by its limited availability due to its relatively short season, especially here in the South. So when I saw rhubarb the other day, I bought it and made this Rhubarb Tart and Crumble. I know it is a funny name, but it looks like a tart, and you’ll eat it like a crumble.
I grew up in the countryside in the North of the Netherlands and the parents of a friend of mine, who lived across the street, had a vegetable garden, with, you guessed right, rhubarb. You could often find us in that vegetable garden, eating the various fruits when they were ripe, like red currents, gooseberries, strawberries. I distinctly remember that we enjoyed chewing on rhubarb stalks. The tart flavor is something special, it’s something I really like, so when I cook rhubarb, I will add very little sugar to preserve as much of the tartness as possible.
This Rhubarb Tart and Crumble is relatively simple to make; all it takes is here and there some time to cool, but preparation-wise it is relatively fast. For the crust I used Multigrain Flax Mediterranean Crackers from Firehook. These crackers are made from wheat flour, wheat, rye, barley, corn, millet, steel-cut oats, flax seeds and more and they are very flavorful and crunchy. I ground them with a rolling pin and added a little bit of water and butter. Then coated a pie dish with it and baked that for 10 minutes in the oven. The crust is nicely browned and taste nutty; a perfect basis for the rhubarb.
For the rhubarb mousse I cooked rhubarb, water, lemon juice, sugar and pectin for about 5 minutes until the rhubarb pieces were falling apart and then I used my immersion blender to make the mixture smoother – not a total mousse; it still has the rhubarb ‘strings’. The added pectin allows the rhubarb mixture to stay together once it is cold. So after cooling the mixture, I poured it into the pie crust and allowed it to cool.
My last step was the decoration and for that I used some edible flowers and I think the tarts looks pretty.
Why did I call this Rhubarb Tart and Crumble? Very simple, because the crust does not hold together. It is fine as long as it is in the pie dish, but as soon as you try to cut it in pieces the crust crumbles.
You might wonder my friends, why I did not change the recipe; well in all honesty I did, several time actually, but I kept coming back to the first one, because of the flavor. In order to keep the pie crust not fall apart when being cut, I had to increase the butter content in the crust and that goes a little bit against my grain, you feel me, against my grain :-). I could have used another cracker or made another type of crust all together, but this crumbly cracker crust kept calling.
I turned the recipe around and created a crumble, but with the crumble you’ll lose part of the crunch of the crackers, so that was also not a solution. The end result is, that this Rhubarb Tart and Crumble is a crumble that is baked as a pie. Or you can say it is a crumble baked upside down. You’ll have a pretty pie and a delicious crumble.
Rhubarb Tart and Crumble
Pie Crust / Crumble
- 1 package Multigrain Flax Mediterranean Crackers
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/8 cup water
- 1 pound rhubarb
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons pectin
- edible flowers
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Crush the crackers finely, or as fine as you like. You can use a roller pin or a food processor.
- Add melted butter and water and mix it all together.
- Press the cracker 'dough' into an 9-inch pie dish and chill in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
- Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes.
- For the rhubarb mousse, cut the rhubarb in small pieces.
- Add rhubarb, sugar, water, lemon juice and pectin into a stainless steel saucepan.
- Place over high heat and cook for 5-7 minutes, stir frequently until rhubarb pieces are separating.
- Remove from heat and puree with a immersion blender. Puree until smooth or semi-smooth, whatever you prefer.
- Allow rhubarb mixture to cool a little and taste. If too tart, add sugar, if too sweet add lemon juice.
- Pour into glass bowl and allow to cool further in the fridge. Pour in pie crust when reasonable cool, and allow to cool overnight.
- Garnish pie with edible flowers.