Wednesday, April 11, 2012
It's been insanely busy here in the studio working non-stop on a big upcoming project that I promise I'll divulge more about soooooooon, so personal desserts that I've been whipping up just for me have taken a turn for the ultra-simple and fast. But of course that doesn't mean they aren't still finger-lickingly good!
I've been waiting so, so patiently for rhubarb to finally hit the markets in my area, so when I at long last saw them at the grocer a few days ago, I pounced. (My apologies to the poor innocent bystanders that I must have trampled in my race to the rhubarb!) Given the mad success of rhubarb in pie form last season, I really wanted to make a rhubarb tart of some sort this year and settled on something super simple and yet surprisingly good: rhubarb puff pastry tarts with orange honey fromage blanc. I love how in the oven, the rhubarb stalks create this bubbling tart filling all on their own, melting into the puff pastry below. There isn't anything else in the tart itself except a dash of vanilla bean and some turbinado and brown sugars to add a bit of rustic sweetness. I served these with dollops of orange and honey-scented fromage blanc on top and a few more drizzles of honey--the tart sourness in the fromage blanc is a really fun alternative to plain old whipped cream, and the orange and honey softens the kick from the cheese. I love simple desserts like this that demonstrate how mixing just a few really good ingredients can make something absolutely divine.
Speaking of news, in all of the Italy excitement, I forgot to say that I'll be at BlogHer Food again this year (in Seattle! Yay!) talking (again) about food photography with Anita Chu of Dessert First. I hope I'll be seeing at least some of you there!
Read on for recipe....
Rhubarb tarts with orange honey fromage blanc
makes six individually-sized tarts
2 Tbspn flour
1 Tbspn brown sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 sheet of puff pastry
3 rhubarb stalks
1 Tbspn turbinado sugar
½ cup fromage blanc
2½ tspn honey,
and more for drizzling
zest of 1 small orange
1 tspn fresh orange juice
1. Preheat oven to 425° F. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat.
2. Combine the flour and brown sugar in a bowl. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the flour mixture. Mix.
3. Roll out the puff pastry to about ⅛-inch thickness. Cut into 6 squares. Divide and sprinkle the prepared flour mixture onto the centers of each puff pastry square. Split each rhubarb stalk in half lengthwise and chop down to size, about an inch shorter than each puff pastry square. Place the rhubarb on the flour, leaving an edge of pastry exposed. Roll the edges of the puff pastry up to form a crust around the rhubarb.Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
4. Transfer the pastries to the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 425° F for 10 minutes; then, reduce the heat to 350° F and continue to bake for 10 – 12 minutes more, until the edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
5. Meanwhile, combine the fromage blanc, honey, orange zest, and orange juice in a bowl and mix well. Drizzle extra honey on the rhubarb tarts and top with small dollops of fromage blanc mixture before serving.
Note: these tarts are best enjoyed the day they're made, as they will get a bit soggy if left overnight.