Cranberry Rhubarb Tarts

I still had quite a little bit of rhubarb left over after I made my macarons, so I was looking for something else fun to make with it. When I’m looking for recipes, I usually scour the food blogs that I follow, and if I come up empty there, then I head over to Pinterest. It’s good for finding anything, right?  I looked at lots of rhubarb recipes, and was intrigued by the combination of cranberry and rhubarb together that I saw in one recipe, because usually the only combination you see rhubarb with is strawberries.  I wasn’t sure how pairing two very tart fruits (well actually I think rhubarb is a vegetable) together would do but I decided to give it a try. I felt like making a pie, but wasn’t sure I had quite enough rhubarb left to fill up a pie crust nicely, so I settled for some tarts.  I very loosely based my recipe off of one that I found for Strawberry Rhubarb Tarts, which also looks delicious.

This recipe uses a sweet dough, which I thought would be perfect considering I was worried about the dessert ending up too tart.  I lightened the crust up a bit however by reducing the amount of butter used, and adding a couple tablespoons of ice water instead, like you do with a pie crust.  I also substituted in some white whole wheat flour to add in some whole grains.  It turned out pretty good considering my meddling with it. Neither my husband or I really are crust fanatics, so perhaps if you are a crust expert this wouldn’t be the crust for you, but I thought it was quite passable.   I didn’t increase the amount of sugar that the original recipe called for in the filling, because my husband and I both like tart desserts (we like tart tarts, haha), but if you don’t like to pucker up a little while eating dessert you might want to consider it.  I did add in a little bit of strawberry orange banana juice to the filling (which is what we had in the fridge), because I felt like it needed at least a little bit of liquid for cooking the fruit, and that probably helped sweeten it up a bit too.  In retrospect it probably didn’t really need the juice, because the filling ended up being a little on the runny side, but I actually kind of liked it that way, so personally I probably wouldn’t change it if I made it again.

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Cranberry Rhubarb Tarts

Yield: 6 four-inch tarts

Crust:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 Tablespoons of ice water

Filling:

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp of strawberry orange banana juice
  • 1  cup cranberries
  • 2 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1 inch pieces

Meringue:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of Cream of Tartar
To make the tart dough:
  • In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the flour, powdered sugar, and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse in short bursts until the butter is the size of small peas. Slowly add the beaten egg and water, and pulse until the mixture comes together into a ball. Shape into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours. (Or if your are impatient like me, put it in the freezer for 30 minutes).
  • Let the dough sit at room temperature for a few minutes, then roll out to about 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Use a large round cutter or a knife to cut out circles of dough for each tart pan (I used 5 inch circles for my 4-inch tart pans). I did have some extra dough left over as well.
  • Grease tart pan, then press the dough circles into each pan. Chill in the freezer until ready to bake.
To make the filling:
  • In a medium saucepan, toss all ingredients together in a bowl to coat the fruit. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is moistened and the strawberry and rhubarb start to soften.
  • Divide filling between the tart shells. Place on a sheet pan and bake at 400 degrees F until filling is bubbling and dough is golden, 15-20 minutes. Let cool completely, then remove tarts from their pans.
To make the meringue:
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy. Slowly add the sugar to the egg whites while continuing to mix. Beat to stiff peaks. Spread meringue onto the tops of each tartlet.
  • Brown the meringue under an oven broiler (watch it carefully). Serve immediately. Store any leftover tartlets in the fridge

I will definitely keep this recipe around to make again next time I have a rhubarb surplus. We really enjoyed the tarts the evening I made them, and they were almost just as good the next morning for breakfast! I now know that I’m a big fan of the rhubarb cranberry combination!

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