French Rhubarb Tart

makes one 10-inch tart

For the Shortcrust Dough

8 Tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

2 to 3 Tablespoons cold water

For the Rhubarb Filling

6 Tablespoons finely chopped almonds

2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
1 1/2 pounds rhubarb, cut up in small cubes (about 4 cups)
2 teaspoons unsalted butter, cut into shavings

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt and butter.  Process for 10 seconds, then add 2 -3 tablespoons water.  Process for another 10 seconds or until the mixture looks like cornmeal.  Dump the mixture on a table or counter and bind a small amount at a time with the heel of your hand, using a sliding motion to incorporate the butter and flour smoothly.  Gather the dough into a ball and flatten it.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 15 minutes, just long enough to firm up the butter.

Lightly flour a work surface and rolling pin.  Roll out the dough to a 13-inch circle, making sure there is flour under the dough and on the rolling pin to prevent the dough from sticking.

Line a 10-inch tart pan with the dough, fitting the dough into the edge of the pan. Roll the rolling pin over the top of the tart pan to trim the excess.   Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and refrigerate the unbaked tart shell for 2 hours or freeze it until ready to bake.  

Preheat the oven to 400˚F.  Line the tart shell with parchment paper or aluminum foil and fill it with pie weights or dried beans.  Place the tart shell in the middle of the oven and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove the beans and foil.  Bake 5 to 10 minutes to dry out the bottom without coloring. Set on a rack to cool completely before filling.

Preheat the oven to 425˚F. Combine the chopped almonds with 1/3 cup sugar and spread on the partially prebaked tart shell.  Pile the rhubarb on top of the almond and sugar mixture.  Sprinkle the remaining sugar on the rhubarb and scatter shavings of butter on top.  Bake the tart on the baking sheet until the crust is golden and the rhubarb has shrunk, about 30 minutes. Transfer the tart to a baking rack to cool completely. Serve with whipped crème fraîche, whipped cream, or ice cream. Enjoy!

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