rhubarb season

rhubarb season

Rhubarb season is finally here! So much to love about this time of year! Usually, I find myself fortunate enough to be gifted with an armful of stalks from my parents' garden patch... which then triggers my mind to begin planning a lineup of rhubarb-inspired desserts, such as Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp, warm Rhubarb Cake with cream, or this delectable Rhubarb Tart with Shortbread Crust!

This sour, mouth-puckering vegetable really can be incredible when sweetened with sugar or fruit. Otherwise, you'd just end up with a tart tart. Get it? Sorry... couldn't resist. But, I digress. At any rate, this combo creates the most perfect sweet & sour balance that is sure to beckon you back for more. If you haven't tried it yet, consider giving this unsung hero a moment to shine. Besides, aren't these deep crimson stalks quite fetching?

Don't judge a tart at first glance. While rhubarb stalks may be pleasing to the eye, this tart is not necessarily winning any awards for being the most attractive confection out there. The other night, after only a quick glimpse at her dessert, our daughter Emilia initially turned up her nose. Okay, perhaps that was valid. But trust me when I say that what it lacks in visual appeal, it makes up for in taste. Sure enough—as the rest of us knew with certainty—Emilia's instincts had failed her. Once she tasted a first bite, she was hooked! (Much to the chagrin of our other daughters, who were prematurely placing dibs on their sister's slice.)

My mom passed this recipe on to me, from my dear aunt Suzie (who allegedly clipped it out of a women's magazine some 30+ years ago, while sitting in a doctor's office waiting room). Shhh. Way to go, Suzie! That was a stroke of genius...

In any case, since that charmed day, it's been shared and baked with love among family and friends. It has reached 'family classic' status in our recipe box. Numerous cousins and even brothers-in-law have requested this tart on their birthdays—dare I say, to replace the beloved birthday cake... This is serious business.

There are many recipes out there for Rhubarb Custard Pie. They look tasty alright, buuuttttt in my humble opinion, a regular pastry crust is no match for the shortbread base in this tart! It's buttery, flaky, and crisp—not to mention very easy to pull together. It. Is. So. Damn. Good.

Consider yourselves warned... you too, will become addicted. Sorry, not sorry. : )

Sticky Golden Crunchy Gooey Goodness. Yes! It truly can be described by each of these wonderful adjectives—all rolled into one. I know, someone is trying to hog the spotlight again... Like, at least give the other desserts a fighting chance!

Once the custard sets up around the rhubarb, it starts to bubble and turn golden brown around the edges. It is best served within a few hours, after it's cooled, for the best crunch factor. The filling will be moist & gooey, offering a creamy texture that is nicely balanced with the crisp shortbread base.




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