A dear friend of mine once blogged about “good envy” – is there such thing? I mean, can we associate envy with a positive adjective, even if it’s to show admiration for someone/something?
An example: during all these years into blogging I’ve been “envying” my lovely friends from Europe and USA for having lots of rhubarb around; now I could finally find it here in São Paulo (thank you, Ana!) and it is absolutely delicious! :D
A non-food related example: I “envy” the Argentineans for their wonderful movies, far superior than ours – and they have Darín, too. ♥
What do you think? Can I call that feeling “good envy”? Any suggestions? :D
from Good to the Grain
2 pounds (900g) rhubarb stalks
1 ¼ cups (218g) dark brown sugar, packed
1 cup (135g) corn flour
1 cup (140g) all purpose flour
½ cup (82g) fine cornmeal
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons (74g) caster sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup (1 stick/113g) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1.25cm (½ inch) pieces
¼ cup (60ml) + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 egg yolks
Start by making the compote: rinse the rhubarb stalks and trim off the very ends. Unless the stalks are very slender, cut them in half lengthwise. Cut the rhubarb on the diagonal into a little less than 2cm (¾ inch) chunks. You’ll have about 6 cups of rhubarb; set 2 cups aside and put the remaining 4 cups in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan (with about 4 liter/5 quart capacity).
Add the brown sugar to the saucepan, give the mixture a few stirs, cover, and turn the heat to medium-low (it’s important to begin slowly so the rhubarb warms up and begins to release its liquid). Cook the rhubarb for about 15 minutes, covered, until the mixture is saucy. Remove the cover and increase the heat to medium. Cook for 15-17 minutes, stirring continuously, until the rhubarb is completely broken down and thick enough that a spoon leaves a trail at the bottom of the pan.
Add the remaining rhubarb to the saucepan and stir to combine. Immediately pour the compote out onto a large plate or baking dish to cool.
The compote will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Now, the dough: sift the dry ingredients into the bowl of an electric mixer, pouring back into the bowl any bits of grain or other ingredients that may remain in the sifter.
Add the butter and using the paddle attachment mix on low speed and mix to break up the butter. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the butter is as coarse as cornmeal. Add the heavy cream and the egg yolks and mix just until combined – the mixture will appear crumbly, but when squeezed between your fingers it will become one mass.
Now, shape the tarts: divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Lightly flour a work surface, grab one piece of dough and using the heel of your hand flatten it into a 13cm (5in) circle.
Spoon ¼ cup of the rhubarb compote into the center of the circle of dough. Fold the edge of the dough toward the filing and up, to create a ruffled edge. Slice a metal spatula underneath the tart and transfer to a baking sheet. Continue with the remaining dough, then place the tarts in the freezer to rest until firm, at least 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F and line two baking sheets with baking paper. Place the tarts onto the prepared pans and bake for about 35 minutes or until the tarts are brown and the filling is bubbling and thick.
Tarts can be eaten warm or at room temperature; they can be kept for up to 2 days if tightly wrapped in plastic.
Makes 10 – I made 1/3 of the recipe above, got 3 tarts and ¼ cup of the compote left