CARDAMOM AND FORCED-RHUBARB FRANGIPANE
This recipe was born out of a gift of homegrown, forced rhubarb ... we figured it was too delicate and beautiful to stew, and would be far happier nested in a cardamom, almondy sponge. It didn't even make it to the end of the day (we did have a lot of people coming & going through the kitchen), but the empty tart case provided all the evidence we needed that this recipe was a keeper!
200g plain flour
40g icing sugar
100g unsalted butter, cold
1 egg yolk
1 splash of fridge-cold milk
For the filling
175g butter, softened
175g caster sugar
175g ground almonds (or a 50:50 mix with ground pistachios if you’re feeling really decadent)
3 eggs, lightly whisked
40g plain flour
6 Green Cardamom Pods
4 stems of forced rhubarb, cut into batons
To garnish: pistachios and icing sugar, dusted
Sift both the flour and icing sugar into a mixing bowl.
Cut the butter into cubes and then use your fingertips to rub the mixture into a breadcrumb consistency. (Or, if you have a stand-mix, then use the K-shaped attachment to do this for you).
Add the egg yolk and a splash of milk, and then mix into a larger, wetter crumb – and then finally add the ice cold water bit by bit, until the pastry comes together to form a ball.
Squash this into a flat pancake, wrap with clingfilm and refrigerate for ½ hour, before greasing a tart case, rolling out the pastry and gently lifting it in. Blind bake (using greaseproof paper and baking beans or dried pulses), and start on the filling.
Cream together the butter and caster sugar until pale, and then mix in the almonds (or pistachios), eggs and flour.
Use the tip of the knife to flick the dark seeds out of the cardamom pods, and grind into a fine powder in a pestle and mortar, then stir into the mixture so it’s evenly distributed.
Tip the mixture into the tart case, arrange the rhubarb on top and bake for 15-20 minutes at 180C until puffed and golden.
Garnish with slivers of pistachios and a generous dusting of icing sugar and serve with crème fraiche.