Okay, when you click on this link to Leite’s Culinaria to get the recipe, it will just say Rhubarb Crostata, but the ginger sets this simple tart on a rung high above similar recipes.
I'm sure a few long-time readers are surprised to see a recipe for baked goods here because I'm not a baker, I'm a cook. But this dessert is so simple and quick that it should be part of every cook's repertoire.
I had posted the recipe on social media when it popped up on my daily reading list. (As you know from this previous Friday Link post, Leite’s Culinaria is one of my favorite sites.)
A friend saw it and delivered a big bag of her own freshly cut rhubarb with a note saying, "I was totally inspired by your rhubarb post this week ..."
Just imagine walking into a summer potluck with a tray of these beauties made with whatever fruit is in season.
My Version with a Major Shortcut
I used Trader Joe's frozen pie crust instead of making my own. Thanks to this excellent, flaky crust and the ease of making crostata, I do make these pastries from time to time.
I've been using it since back in 2010 when Erin Zimmer, one of my editors at Serious Eats, tested it. She was right, it is crumbly. But this is an informal dessert and a few crumbles are fine.
My work to make this dessert consisted of cleaning and cutting the rhubarb, grating the ginger, and tossing those with the other ingredients.
I also used less sugar as suggested by one of the recipe testers. And, because I thought it would add depth and round out the sharp notes of the rhubarb and ginger, I used half light brown sugar and half raw sugar.
A Few Tips:
- The frozen dough takes time to thaw. I moved it from the freezer to the refrigerator overnight and it still had to sit on the counter for an hour before it was ready to use without cracking and breaking.
- I used local, organic ginger from Old Friends Farm. I keep a supply of this zesty alternative in my freezer and just grate it in its frozen state.
- Once thawed, I left the pie crust between its layers of plastic and used my hands to reseal a few cracks. That meant no rolling pin or floury counter to clean.
- You can use the bottom piece of the plastic to help flip the pastry onto your prepared baking sheet. Pile on the filling then flip up the sides in your most casual manner.
Words: Penny Cherubino
Photos: ©2016 Penny & Ed Cherubino