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Spring desserts beg to involve rhubarb in some way or another. After all, the red stalk is only in season a short while, and it offers such a unique tart taste that pairs well with a variety of fruits. In the past, I have always only paired with strawberries , and in fact, a good friend of mine recently mentioned she pairs it with apples. Probably any sweet fruit would provide the perfect balance with the sharp tart flavor of the rhubarb, add some sugar, lay it on buttery crust and delicious goodness manifests itself.
Last spring I can remember quite vividly learning of the combination of blueberries and rhubarb and wanting to try it (in fact I did once, but never shared the recipe). And as I was reading The New York Times recently, I came across a recipe inspired by Kate McDermott’s cookbook Art of Pie (listen to her interview on The Splendid Table about how to make the perfect pie dough) for Blueberry Rhubarb pie, and I knew what I was going to be indulging in this weekend.
As luck would have it, our local produce stand had just opened their doors for the first time of the season today as we were walking past, and I found my star ingredients:
~Blueberries (a reminder that strawberries – especially fresh – are a perfect alternative in this recipe)~
~Rhubarb (not red peppers, artichokes, etc. – that would be a no)~
Beyond tickled and feeling as though serendipity was at play, I paid for my produce and began my next adventure for the day before settling in at home to make the crostata.
The day was dedicated to the outdoors of my home as I visited my favorite local nursery (and everyone else did as well, as the parking lot was full one hour before the gates opened – I do believe we were ready for a sunny weekend in Bend). Whistle Stop Farm & Flowers was full of abundance, and for more than an hour I perused, selected and planned my front and back porches, as well as my petite garden (check out my IG story here – a few handsome chickens were found as well).
As I tinkered in my yard, potted my plants and laid out my garden, I took a break to make the dough to allow it time to chill. After doing so, I continued outside and finished planting and arranging the plants in their new home for the summer.
~If you are curious about creating your own garden, even if you only have a small space, be sure to check out this post as I too have always had small plots, but find there to be more than enough space to cultivate a bountiful harvest.
Back in the kitchen, I mixed the filling and made the crumble topping before rolling out the dough. As you can see from the pictures, my crust sprung a leak as I rolled my dough out due to rolling it out too thin. However, the easy fix is to not roll your dough out too thin, as this is the crust that is buttery, flaking and full of flavor. And even if it does spring a leak, it will be absolutely delicious.
Now to the recipe. Enjoy this late spring dessert!
Blueberry & Rhubarb Crostata
- 1 cup flour all-purpose
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter chilled
- 1/8 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 tablespoons cold water
- 2 cups rhubarb cut into 1/2 - 1 inch pieces
- 1 cup blueberries 1 small carton picked up at the market
- 1/3 cup sugar with fresh fruit, less sugar is needed. I have found 1/3 cup is perfect.
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- pinch nutmeg freshly grated
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice fresh
- 1 egg white whisk with 1 tablespoon of water
- 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/3 cup oatmeal
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Using a food processor or bowl with a dough cutter, add flour, sugar, salt and butter to the bowl. Mix until fine crumbs form.
- Add water until just before it begins to all stick together. Remove from the bowl, roll into a ball and flatten gently into a flat round disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes to chill.
- After 30 minutes (the dough can be chilled for up to a day and still be ready whenever you are), roll the dough out into a 8-10 round diameter, making sure to not roll the dough too thin so that it won't leak while baking. Place the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- While the dough is chilling, combine gently the fruit and the sugar, nutmeg, lemon, flour and salt.
- Once the dough is rolled out, place the filling in the middle, leaving about 2-3 inches clear of the filling as you will be folding it on top of the filling to form the edges.
- Add the crumble as instructed below. Then fold the edges: take 2-3 inches and fold on top of the filling, then fold the next 2-3 inches, slightly layering on top of the last folded edge. Do this until the edges are all folded on top of the filling. Make sure not to break the dough as this will allow leaking of the filling while cooking (however, if this happens, it is absolutely okay and still very delicious).
- Brush the dough with the egg white and water mixture.
- Place in the oven for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees. Bake for 30-35 minutes more until crust is brown and filling is slightly bubbling. Remove from the oven and let cook for 5-10 minutes.
- Serve warm with gelato or ice cream.
- Make the crumble topping while the dough is chilling, after you make the filling.
- Melt the butter in a small sauce pan on a medium to low heat. While the butter is melting, mix in a small bowl the flour, oats, sugars and salt. Once the butter is melted, remove from heat and add the flour-oats mixture. Mix with a fork until all is incorporated.
- Finely slice up the 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter and place on top of the filling before adding the crumble. Then add the crumble so that the entire top of the filling is covered.
~View more TSLL Desserts here.