ROUGHAND-READY RHUBARB TART
This also works with the later pink stalks of outdoor-crop rhubarb, poached plums or gooseberries. The crème fraîche makes the pastry slightly flaky and very forgiving, so you can cook it a day ahead, then assemble at the last minute.
For the pastry
100g cold butter, diced 160g plain flour, plus extra
80g crème fraîche
For the topping
700g forced rhubarb, trimmed
and cut into 3cm pieces juice and zest of 1 small orange 75g soft, light brown muscovado sugar
200ml crème fraîche
1. Whizz the butter and flour in food processor until the mixture resembles course breadcrumbs. Add the crème fraîche and pulse until the mixture just comes together; alternatively, rub the butter into the flour with your fingers, then mix in
the crème fraîche using a knife. Shape the dough into a rough circle, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 1 hour. 2. Heat the oven to 190°C/mark 5. Remove the dough from the fridge 10 minutes in advance, then, on a lightly floured surface, roll it into a rough 30cm circle. Transfer to a large baking sheet. Loosely fold in the edges to make a 2cm border. Prick the base all over with a fork and bake for 20 minutes, until crisp and golden. Cool on a baking sheet. 3. While it cools, spread the rhubarb in a single layer in a large, nonmetallic baking dish, add the orange juice and zest, scatter over the sugar and dot with butter. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until just tender. Baste with the juices and leave to cool. 4. The juice should be the consistency of cordial. If it is too thin, drain through a sieve and boil over a high heat for 5 minutes. 5. When ready to serve, spread the pastry with crème fraîche, top with rhubarb and spoon over the juices. Serve immediately.