Check out the vintage towel that is a map of New England ... those berries are right over our little area of New Hampshire!
Today, I made a tart of rhubarb and strawberries from our backyard patch ... I thought it would be easy to find a treatment for rhubarb that I would go crazy over, but no. I had to look around at several different recipes before I decided to take some ingredients from one and more of certain ingredients from another. I borrowed ideas from Martha Stewart's tiny tart recipe and also from Better Homes & Garden's classic strawberry-rhubarb pie recipe. A classic pie pastry and more fresh sliced berries atop made for a pretty tart.
Our backyard sits on the side of small mountain in southwestern New Hampshire. We have wild strawberries growing in the back yard on the brick terrace, and all over any open space through the fields that dot the side of Gap Mountain. The wild turkeys and deer, chipmunks and songbirds have a time foraging the berries at this time of year. We have been fortunate that most of our domestic strawberries have been left alone by the creatures. Silent Bob has been able to bring in a quart a day for the past few days and the amount will increase a bit in the next week. In addition, I planted a small clump of rhubarb two years ago. It's out by one of the stonewalls in the yard. It struggled to get established the first year, but this year I have been able to harvest twice without fear of stressing the little clump.
This morning, the sun was bright and the lawn needed mowing. SB got busy. And while he roared around the back lot, I put together a simple pie crust and popped it in the fridge. Then I ventured out to cut some rhubarb and gather some fresh berries. After hulling and dicing, a filling of strawberries, rhubarb, orange zest, orange juice, Grand Marnier liqueur, sugar, flour,and butter got mixed. The smell of the fruits and the Grand Marnier is amazing.
Putting the tart together was kind of a pokey affair for me. I frittered around playing with the crust until I decided to roll the upper edges inward and do a crimp around the top edges. Then, I decided to slice some extra berries to top the strawberry-rhubarb filling and sprinkle them with raw sugar to make a pretty baked glaze. The light in the kitchen was so pretty that I stopped and took quite a few photos ... it was a slow process.
Finally, though, it was ready for the oven. And now, it's ready to eat. All I have to do is make the iced tea for our late afternoon snack break.
Yum! Springtime on a plate!
3 – 4 stalks of fresh rhubarb, washed and ends trimmed of leaves and lower stalks
2 c. hulled strawberries, cut into halves and quarters
Zest of a medium-sized orange
¼ c. orange juice
¼ c. Grand Marnier liqueur
1¼ c. sugar
¼ to ½ c. flour
pinch of salt
1½ tbsp. melted butter
Extra fresh berries for garnish
raw sugar for sprinkling
Making the Filling:
1. Chop the rhubarb into ½ inch thick ‘coins’. Then halve the coins.
2. Toss the strawberries and rhubarb together with the rest of the ingredients, taking care not to mash the berries.
3. Prepare your favorite pie crust recipe.
4. Roll the crust and place it in a 9 inch pie plate or an oblong tart pan.
5. Spoon the filling into the pie shell and top the pie with thin slices of fresh berries. Sprinkle with raw sugar and bake the pie (425 degrees Farenheit for about 35 to 40 minutes) until the filling is bubbly and the top strawberries have glazed with the sugar. The crust will be golden and crisp.
6. Serve warmed with a dollop of fresh whipped cream that has been flavored with a bit of orange zest, sugar, and a splash more of Grand Marnier.
Note: The filling does bubble up, so I suggest a foil-lined sheet under the pie plate or tart pan. You'll be a happier person during clean-up. Just sayin' ...