Farmers markets are my playgrounds. Whether at home shopping at my local marché, or seeking out stranger markets in foreign cities, I could very happily spend every Saturday morning of my life walking from stall to stall, stand to stand, market basket on my arm (growing ever-heavier).
In the month of May, my local market, the Marché Atwater, really comes to life. The market remains open all year but the fun food stands and beautiful flowers don’t show their shining faces until spring is in full bloom. I sometimes find the frenetic activity of the Saturday morning market crowd a bit overwhelming but this past Saturday I arrived at the market during a wonderfully sleepy lull. The tourists seemed to have stayed at home and there were no lines at my favourite stands. Magic, truly.
And the best part? Rhubarb! One my top five favourite ingredients. I grabbed a huge bunch and promptly rushed home to create something sweet.
I’ve always been a fan of Rhubarb Crisp (I’ve even been known to call it my favourite dessert) but on this particular Saturday I felt like trying something new. I combined a classic – Rhubarb Pie – with a favourite – Rhubarb Crisp – and baked it in tiny tartlet pans to give it flair. The result? Flaky pastry, crunchy-sweet topping and an orange-scented rhubarb filling that is “to die for.”
Domestic Deborah’s Rhubarb Crumble Tartlets
Makes 4 tartlettes (with leftover filling for drizzling on vanilla ice cream later in the week)
For the Crust:
1 ¼ cups all-purpose (unbleached) flour
½ tsp flaky sea salt
½ tsp granulated sugar
½ cup icy cold unsalted butter (cut into 1-inch pieces)
½ cup ice water
For the Filling:
4 cups rhubarb, cut into ½ inch pieces
¾ cup granulated sugar
Zest and juice of 1 orange
½ tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
For the Crumble Topping:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup rolled oats
Combine flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl using a wire whisk. Combine flour and butter using a pastry cutter. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal (there may still be large pieces of butter – that’s okay). Stir in ¼ cup ice water using a large wooden spoon until mixture begins to come together. If mixture still appears too dry, add remaining water (the dough should not be sticky but you should be able to clump it together with your hands). Form into a ball and pat into a disk. Wrap in plastic and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400.
Once chilled, unwrap and roll out on a floured surface until crust is 14 inches in diameter. Cut dough into four even pieces. Lay and fit each piece of dough on a tartlet pan. Cut off access dough. Chill dough in pans in freezer for 15 minutes.
Line pans with parchment and fill with pie weights. Blind bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile combine all filling ingredients in large saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer until softened (about 5 minutes). Allow to cool slightly.
Combine all crumble ingredients in medium bowl and, using your fingers, rub butter into flour mixture.
Remove pie weights and parchment from tartlets. Fill with rhubarb filling and top with a generous amount of crumble topping (about ¼ cup).
Bake for 20 minutes until rhubarb is bubbling slightly and crumble is golden. Allow to cool before serving.