Rhubarb & Ginger Bakewell Tarts
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Cook time: 
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Serves: 6
Sharp forced rhubarb, sweet frangipane and flaky orange-scented pastry make these little tartlets the perfect January treat. The recipe for jam makes a little more than you will need, but it's delicious swirled through creme fraiche and served on the side, or eaten the next day spread on toast. The rhubarb needs to sit for a few hours before cooking to allow the juices to come out, so make sure you allow for this in your timings.
  • For the jam
  • 500g forced pink rhubarb
  • 400g jam sugar (with pectin)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 50ml orange juice
  • 25g stem ginger, in syrup, chopped
  • For the pastry
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened & cubed
  • 60g golden caster sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 100g plain white flour
  • 65g wholemeal spelt flour
  • pinch salt
  • Zest one small orange
  • For the frangipane
  • 85g unsalted butter, softened
  • 95g golden caster sugar
  • 2 medium free range eggs
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 25g plain flour
  • pinch salt
  • To finish
  • Handful flaked almonds
  1. To make the jam, cut the rhubarb into 2cm slices. Add a few pieces to a heavy bottomed saucepan, sprinkle over some sugar, then repeat in layers until all the rhubarb and sugar is used up. Pour over the lemon and orange juices, cover and set aside for a couple of hours, preferably overnight. This draws the juice out of the rhubarb, helping to create a more syrupy jam.
  2. The next day, bring the rhubarb and juice mixture to the boil, stirring gently without breaking up the pieces. Add the ginger, boil for about 5 minutes then test for the setting point using a thermometer - it should read 105 degrees C. You can also test dropping point using a frozen spoon. Remove from the heat and set aside for 5 minutes before pouring into a warm, sterilised jar (or jars).
  3. To make the pastry, beat the butter and sugar together until just smooth in a medium bowl, about one minute. Add the egg yolk and mix til combined, then add the flour, salt and orange zest, mixing until the dough just comes together. Press into 6 individual 9 cm tartlet tins with a removable base, prick the base of each with a fork and freeze for one hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C. Remove the pastry cases from the freezer and bake for 5 minutes (no need to line with beads). If the pastry has puffed up slightly, pat it flat with the back of a spoon then bake for a further 8 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and turn the temperature down to 180 degrees C.
  5. To make the frangipane, cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a little flour if necessary to prevent the mixture from splitting. Once smooth, fold on the ground almonds and remaining flour.
  6. To assemble the tartlets, spoon about 20g (a very heaped tablespoon) of jam into the bottom of each pastry case. Divide the frangipane between the six tartlets and smooth at the edges so no jam is showing. Scatter with flaked almonds and bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until golden and risen.
  7. Remove the tarts from the oven and allow to cool. I served them warm for pudding with raspberry compote and vanilla ice cream, but they're also delicious on their own as a tea time treat.
Making this jam is fairly straightforward but I am by no means a jam-making expert. For more detailed instructions on all sorts of jams and preserves plus handy hints on setting points etc, I highly recommend the River Cottage Preserves handbook.
Recipe by thelittleloaf at http://www.thelittleloaf.com/2014/01/20/rhubarb-ginger-bakewell-tarts/