My great Auntie Dot made the best pies. Hands down. No contest.
I vividly remember the picnic basket she used to carry pies in when she traveled. That basket is burned in my memory. Because if she showed up at your house with that basket in her hand, you KNEW you were in for a big treat.
Oh and Auntie Dot never let you have only a little pie. If you asked for a small piece, she would purposely give you the biggest slice your eyes have ever seen. As if to punish you for even considering eating just a tiny amount!
Since the farmers markets have been full of rhubarb these past weeks, I set out to make my Auntie Dot’s strawberry-rhubarb pie. It’s such a Spring classic. I just couldn’t resist. And while I kept her recipe for the filling the same, I decided to bake the filling off into ramekins, instead of making a whole pie (although the recipe for the filling can be used to fill a single 8- or 9-inch pie, if you prefer). Because I just love individual sized desserts. They just seem really special. And not to mention adorable. And we all know that adorable food just tastes better.
I’d like think that my Auntie Dot would be very happy with the way these Strawberry-Rhubarb Tarts turned out. Although she probably wouldn’t approve of the small serving size!
Recipe for the pastry dough from Tanglewood Baked Goods
Check out this tutorial for making a lattice crust on Simply Recipes
- For the Pastry Dough
- 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1 cup cold water
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- For the Strawberry-Rhubarb Filling
- 4 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 cups strawberries, stemmed and quartered
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca
- 5 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 tsp. orange zest
- pinch of salt
- For Assembly
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons milk (any kind will work)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Make the pastry dough. Cut the butter into small pieces. Place the butter and the water in your freezer for about 15 minutes to chill.
- In your food processor with the blade attachment, pulse together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the cold butter and pulse the mixture together until a course meal forms. Add about 1/2 cup of the cold water and continue pulsing, scraping down the sides of the food processor as necessary. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough starts coming together into a loose ball.
- Remove the dough from the food processor, dividing it and shaping it into two balls. Flatten each ball slightly to form a disk and then wrap the disks tightly in plastic wrap. Transfer one of the dough disk to your refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour. The second disk can be frozen for later use.
- Once the dough has almost finished chilling, make the strawberry-rhubarb filling. Add all the ingredients to a large bowl, tossing gently to combine. Let the filling sit for 15 minutes at room temperature.
- Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray the inside of your ramekins with non-stick cooking spray and place them on your prepared baking sheet.
- Divide the strawberry-rhubarb filling evenly between the ramekins. The ramekins will be very full. Place a few small pieces of butter on top of the filling in each ramekin.
- On a well-floured surface, roll our your pastry dough to about 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into thin strips (somewhere between a 1/4 and a 1/2 inch wide works well). Place three parallel strips onto one of your filled ramekins, leaving a little space between each one. Fold back the first and third strip, and place one strip of dough perpendicular to the original three strips. Unfold the strips. Now repeat, but this time folding back the second strip. Repeat one more time, folding back the first and third strip again. Make sure to check out the tutorial on lattice making I mentioned above. The pictures are extremely helpful!
- Once you have finished the lattice work on all the ramekins, pat down the ends of the strips with your finger. If there is a lot of overhanging dough, you can trim off the excess with a pair of scissor or a small pairing knife. Using your finger, dot the top of the dough with a little milk. Sprinkle with sugar.
- Transfer to your pre-heated oven and bake for 25 minutes. Then rotate the pan and cover the ramekins loosely with a piece of aluminum foil. Continue baking for another 20-25 minutes. The tops should be browned and the filling should be bubbling. Remove the baking pan from your oven. Let the tarts rest for about 20-30 minutes before serving. Serve with ice cream, if desired.