1 batch of sweet shortcrust pastry
3-5 stems rhubarb, cut into inches
1-2 pears, sliced as you wish
2 Tbsp sugar or maple syrup
rind of an orange
1 Tbsp caster sugar for the top (optional)
Make a flaky pastry, pile on that delicious fruit and impress yourself!
There are plenty of online recipes for making a basic shortcrust pastry, but if you’d like another reference perhaps try this basic version, or this one with egg. Just keep the flour light in the bowl (aerate by pulsing in a food processor or letting the mix fall from a height when you rub between your fingers), the butter cold, and don’t play or knead it mindlessly to bring it together – just press swiftly to form a ball, wrap and pop it in the fridge for an hour.
Rhubarb and Pear Tart
Preheat oven to 200ºC.
Wash and slice the fruit into roughly bite sized pieces. Combine in a bowl until the pastry is rolled out.
Line a baking tray with baking paper. Throw some flour on the bench and roll out the pastry into a reasonably thin circle. When you’re happy with it, use the rolling pin to lift it on to the baking tray. The sides may flop over the edge, but they’ll be folded over the fruit so it’s all okay.
Sprinkle the sugar and orange rind on the fruit and mix through, including any other additions you may fancy, like ground ginger or nutmeg. Pile in the middle of the pastry, and without working the dough too much fold the edges over to nestle gently around the fruit. You may need to slice or cut some pastry away so it’s not too bulky and overlapped. You might like to sprinkle an extra tablespoon of sugar over the whole lot, just for good measure. If you do have pastry scraps, they can be rolled out again to make a couple of little ones or bake the scraps as they are with a dollop of jam on top.
Bake for 15-20 minutes at 200ºC, then turn it down to 180ºC for another 30 minutes or until it is nicely golden and the juices are sizzling deliciously.
* Brush the still-warm cooked pastry with apricot jam, for extra gloss and impressiveness.
** Make use of any bake-able fruit, this doesn’t need to be a rhubarb at all. A pile of spiced apple, stone fruit or summer berries…