Not known for his patience, watchdog Fidget is such a big fan of rhubarb that – if left to his own devices – he would monitor progress 24/7…
Sure enough, though, this would be counterproductive because, as we know, forced rhubarb grown in pots – the most delicious and tender type – wants to be left alone.
So when, finally, sufficient rhubarb was ready for harvesting, Trota made this simple and delicious tart: a shortcrust pastry case filled with the stem-like, seasonal, regional delicacy.
For the pastry you will need: 200g flour, 100g sugar, 100g butter (diced), 2 egg yolks, finely grated zest of a lemon, pinch of salt. Mix flour and sugar, then, with your fingers, rub the butter into the flour. Add the egg yolks, zest and salt and quickly combine. Do not overwork the pastry. Flatten into a brick shape (if you are using a rectangular tin, as we did) or a round; wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge to rest for about an hour. When ready to use, work with a rolling pin into the shape required and use to line a prepared (greased) tin. Cut away the excess pastry using the rolling pin or a knife, prick the base with a fork and put back in the fridge until you are ready to pour the filling.
For the filling you will need: 350g rhubarb stems (diced), 180g sugar, 2 eggs. In a bowl, mix the eggs with the sugar and beat. Add the rhubarb and mix well. Pour into the pastry shell, distributing evenly but without pressing it. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 180°/gas 4 for 45–50min until the pastry is golden and the rhubarb looks tender. Let it cool and sprinkle with icing sugar just before serving.
Quite heavenly! But Fidget – you can’t fatten stock by weighing it, and a watched pot never boils, so kindly step away from the rhubarb clump. And yes, it has all now been used. You’ll just have to be patient and wait for more to grow. But for now, put that lid down…please!