Rhubarb Tarts Recipe from Kim Boyce's Good to the Grain
Makes 10 individual tarts
Free-form tarts are my favorite way to showcase ripe fruit—they’re delicious, easy
and beautiful without being precious. Here, corn flour and rhubarb are paired for both
their assertive flavor and their stunning color. You can also press the dough into a fluted tart
shell for a larger, more formal dessert. Or, just make the dough (without the compote)
and roll into simple cookies.
Parchment for the baking
1 cup corn flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fine cornmeal
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces (1 stick) cold
unsalted butter, cut into
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons
2 egg yolks
1 batch Rhubarb Hibiscus
Compote (see below)
1. To make the dough, sift the dry ingredients
into the bowl of a standing mixer, pouring
back into the bowl any bits of grain or other
ingredients that may remain in the sifter.
2. Attach the bowl and the paddle to the
standing mixer. Add the butter, turn the
mixer speed to low (so the flour doesn’t go
flying out of the bowl) and mix to break up
the butter. Increase the speed to medium
and mix until the butter is as coarse as
cornmeal. Add the heavy cream and the egg
yolks and mix until combined. The dough
will appear crumbly, but when squeezed
between your fingers it will become one
mass. This dough is best shaped right after
making, as it hardens when refrigerated. If
the dough is chilled first, let it come to
room temperature before shaping.
3. To shape the tarts, divide the dough into 10
equal pieces. Lightly flour a work surface.
Grab one piece of dough and, using the
heel of your hand, flatten the dough into a
rough circle. Continue flattening until the
circle is approximately 5 inches in
diameter and of even thickness. If at any
time the dough is sticking, flour the work
surface and the dough. For an elegant finish,
gently flatten the outer edge in a
downward fashion, making it thinner
than the rest of the dough.
4. Spoon 1/4 cup of rhubarb compote into the
center of the dough. Fold the edge of the
dough toward the compote and up, to
create a ruffled edge. Continue until an
irregularly shaped ruffling happens.
(Keep in mind that this is a rustic,
handmade tart, so it shouldn’t look like a
machine made it.)
5. Slide a bench scraper or metal spatula
underneath the tart and transfer it to a
plate or baking sheet. Continue with the
remaining dough. Slide the shaped tarts
into the freezer to rest and harden for at
least 1 hour, or up to 2 weeks if wrapped
tightly in plastic.
6. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking
sheets with parchment. Transfer the tarts
onto the baking sheets.
7. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until
the edges of the tarts are brown and the
rhubarb is bubbling and thick.
8. The tarts can be eaten warm or at room
temperature. They can also be wrapped
tightly in plastic and kept for up to 2 days.
Rhubarb Hibiscus Compote
M a k e s a b o u t 3 c u p s
2 pounds rhubarb stalks
11/4 cups dark brown sugar
8 dried hibiscus flowers
I always know it’s spring when I see the first stalks of rhubarb at the farmers’ market.
In this recipe, fresh rhubarb is cooked down into a bright-colored compote. Dried hibiscus
flowers are traditionally used in jamaica, a Mexican agua fresca, and to make tea. You can
find hibiscus flowers in tea shops and many grocery stores, especially Latin markets. Here,
they brighten the pink hue of the rhubarb. This compote fills the corn-flour Rhubarb Tarts
(see page 90) and also makes a delicious filling for fruit crisps and cobblers.
1. Rinse the rhubarb stalks and trim off
the very ends. Unless the stalks are very
slender, cut them in half lengthwise.
Cut the rhubarb on the diagonal into
3/4-inch chunks. You’ll have about 6
cups of rhubarb; set aside 2 cups and
put the remaining 4 cups into a medium
heavy-bottomed pot (with about a
2. Add the brown sugar and hibiscus
flowers to the pot, give the mixture a
few stirs, cover, and turn the heat to
medium-low. (It’s important to begin
slowly so the rhubarb warms up and
begins to release its liquid.) Cook the
rhubarb mixture for about 15 minutes,
covered, until the mixture is saucy.
3. Remove the cover and increase the heat
to medium. Cook for 15 to 17 minutes,
stirring continuously, until the rhubarb
is completely broken down and thick
enough that a spoon leaves a trail at the
bottom of the pan.
4. Add the remaining rhubarb chunks to
the pot and stir to combine.
5. Immediately pour the compote out onto
a large plate or baking dish to cool.
When the compote is cooled completely,
remove the hibiscus flowers, squeezing
any juice from them into the compote,
and discard. The compote will keep in
the refrigerator for up to 1 week.