ROUGHAND-READY RHUBARB TART

Gourmet (South Africa) - - EASY TO IMPRESS -

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

for dust­ing

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

25g but­ter

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.

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