Spring is in the air and I am laying it on thick with this new recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Curd Tartlets. There is something about springtime that the other seasons just don’t have. It’s therapeutic. Spring gives us hope and lightens our dark, hardened winter spirits. Hope that breathes energy back into our pale, possibly squishy bodies as they slowly transition out of hibernation. That long awaited feeling of rejuvenation and renewal is what spring is all about.
Love is also in the air and I’m laying that on thick, too. Remember being a teenager and every spring felt like a candy shop of new relationships and canoodling puppy love? Spring came around and it seemed everyone was in a new relationship, gratuitously playing up the PDA for all of the school to see. It wasn’t just the cool kids either, but the sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, waistoids, dweebies, dickheads. Everybody was falling in love.
Every spring I too am bit by the lovebug, and hopelessly fall head over heels…for strawberry and rhubarb. There is no denying my deep seated affection. I end up baking a new strawberry rhubarb recipe every single year, thinking it’s the one. And it is special and means so much to me at the time, but then the following spring season I start crushing all over again and dive head first into a new relationship with strawberry and rhubarb. I’ve had my fair share of affairs with the covetable combo over the years, and I’m not one to kiss and tell, but maybe just this once. There was that one time with these drop dead gorgeous Rhubarb Rose & Strawberry Pistachio Galettes, and these pretty little Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies with Pink Peppercorn Crust oooh and these hearty and satisfying Strawberry Rhubarb Shortcake with Whipped Mascarpone or these sweet and easy Strawberry Rhubarb & Ginger Crumble Bars but wait, there was also this rustic and refined Strawberry Rhubarb Galette with Ginger and the one that started my borderline obsessive relationship with strawberries and rhubarb, this Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with a splash of St. Germain. It’s safe to say that I am a helpless romantic when it comes to the pretty pink combo.
With this recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Curd Tartlets, my goal was to capture that spring fling love thing in a single bite. I want everybody to experience my passion for the bittersweet bond of bracingly tart rhubarb mellowed with the sweet kiss of spring strawberries. These Strawberry Rhubarb Curd Tartlets start with a simple, buttery, press-in, shortbread crust baked in removable bottom tartlet pans, honestly the easiest tart shells on earth. The vibrant curd marries the bright rhubarb with the sweet strawberries in a creamy custard like filling that’s as smooth as butter. The Strawberry Rhubarb Curd Tartlets finish off by baking together in the oven to set the filling and give the shell a final golden touch. Then the Strawberry Rhubarb Curd Tartlets are topped with the cutest little piped dollops of crème fraiche to add a tangy component to the smooth filling. And since the strawberries are stunning this time of year, those itty bitty ruby jewels get proudly placed on top of the Strawberry Rhubarb Curd Tartlets for show.
Don’t fight the feeling any longer, just let yourself indulge in a little spring fling and bake up a beautiful batch of these Strawberry Rhubarb Curd Tartlets. Taste the power of love, it’s undeniably delicious.
A simple, buttery, shortbread shell surrounds a luxuriously smooth, sweet and tart strawberry rhubarb curd, topped with darling dollops of tangy creme fraiche and market fresh strawberries.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter - at room temperature
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup rhubarb - chopped into 1" pieces
- 1 cup strawberries - chopped into 1" pieces
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar - divided
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons creme fraiche
- 6 itty bitty strawberries
- 2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk salt, flour and ginger together in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on medium/high speed for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy, stop the mixer and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl a few times. Add the vanilla extract and mix until fully incorporated.
Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the dry ingredients, scraping the bowl a couple of times. Only mix until the ingredients have just come together and the dough is still crumbly.
Divide the dough evenly between six 4" removable bottom tartlet pans. Lightly press the dough place so it covers the bottom and a create a thin layer up the sides of the each pan.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes until the shortbread dough puffs up a bit and is a warm golden color all over. If it gets too puffy, use the back of a spoon or a pestle to gently press the dough back down in the center. Set aside and allow the shells to cool.
In a small saucepan, combine the chopped rhubarb and strawberries with ¼ cup sugar, and 2 tablespoons water over medium heat. Simmer until the fruit starts to fall apart, about 8-10 mins. Then either use an immersion blender to puree the mixture, or push the mixture through a strainer by hand to break down the puree. Set aside.
Combine remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and egg yolks in a heat-proof bowl or the top of a double boiler and whisk together immediately; if you delay, the mixture will coagulate. Place the bowl over a pit or the bottom of the double boiler with about an inch of lightly simmering water and whisk continuously until the sugar dissolves.
Slowly whisk in the strawberry rhubarb puree. Keep whisking continuously and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the butter and salt, then use a spatula to stir constantly until the mixture is the consistency of sour cream, which will happen at about 170° F, about 6-10 minutes.
Remove from the heat. Then press through a fine-mesh strainer, so the curd is smooth and creamy with a pudding like texture.
Evenly fill the partially baked tartlet shells with the curd and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until the curd has set. Set aside and allow to cool before removing the tartlets from the pans.
If you want to get real fancy with it, use a piping bag and an open star piping tip to pipe creme fraiche stars on the cooled tarts. Or don't, and just use a tablespoon to dollop creme fraiche right on top. Then top each tart with a cute little strawberry. Use a fine mesh strainer to gently sprinkle powdered sugar over the tops of the tarts and serve right away.
*This recipe makes six 4" tartlets or one 10" round tart.