Mini strawberry-rhubarb freeform tart

Crostatas are easy, delicious and beautiful!

I really, really love pies but don’t make them as often as I should now that there’s just two of us to eat them. Lamenting the absence of pie in my life inspired me to come up with a solution, and it’s a delicious one. This mini pie recipe is so quick to make and while some may consider it the perfect portion for one, I find it so satisfying that half the tart is the ideal serving for me. Italians call this style of pie or tart ‘crostata’ meaning rustic, open fruit tart and it’s a very versatile pie. Of course you can double or even triple the recipe should you wish to make a larger free-form tart; you may need to slightly increase the cooking time if you do. If sweet and savory’s how you like your pies, you might also enjoy this peach-ricotta-arugula freeform tart recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (67 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons (35 g) very cold butter
  • 2 tablespoons (10 mL) cold water (plus a splash more if your dough feels dry)
  • 1/2 cup (65 g) finely chopped rhubarb
  • 1/2 cup (83 g) sliced strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon (12 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (2.5 g) cornstarch
  • A pinch of kosher salt
  • Few drops fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) milk or one beaten egg yolk
  • Few pinches granulated or sanding sugar
  • Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream for serving

Method

  • To make the pastry, whisk together flour and sugar in a small mixing bowl. Grate in the very cold butter then toss with your fingers or a fork so all butter shards are coated with the flour mixture.
  • Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add cold water. Stir with a fork to draw the mixture together in a shaggy dough. Test dough for dryness with your hands and add a few more drops of liquid at a time as needed so all the dry ingredients are moistened but not soggy.
  • Turn the shaggy dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap placed on your work surface. Use your hands to bring the mixture together into a small disk about 1/2 inch or 1.25 cm thick. Wrap then place in freezer for 15 minutes or refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
  • When ready to assemble the tart, preheat oven to 425F. Gently combine rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, salt and a few drops of lemon juice in a small bowl.
  • Place a piece of parchment paper on the counter and sprinkle it very lightly with flour. Place the chilled disc of pastry on top and lightly flour the top of the pastry.
  • Place a second sheet of parchment on top then roll the pastry into a 7 or 8-inch (17.5 – 20 cm) circle just thicker than 1/4 inch (6 cm). Leave the edges of the dough ragged if you want a more rustic tart, or trim them slightly with a sharp knife if you prefer.
  • Remove top sheet of parchment paper and spoon fruit and any liquid from the bowl into the centre of the crust, leaving a 1 inch (2.5 cm) border empty all the way around. Fold the border up over the fruit in the centre, pleating it gently as you go; there will be an open space in the centre where the fruit is visible.
  • Brush the pastry with the milk or beaten egg yolk and sprinkle lightly with a little sugar.
  • Lift the parchment paper up to transfer the prepared tart to a small baking sheet.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven and reduce heat to 400F. Bake for 23-25 minutes until pastry is golden-coloured and fruit filling is softened and bubbling.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature, as is or with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream.

Makes 1 small pie suitable for 1 – 2 servings.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. If you enjoy this space be sure to check out my Rogers TV Ottawa cooking show, Paula Roy's Favourite Foods, available on local cable, streaming and a dedicated playlist on Rogers TV's YouTube channel.

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