Strawberry Rhubarb Tart

There’s a certain ease and simplicity to free-form tarts like this. Sometimes they’re called a crostata, sometimes a galette. You can call it whatever you want, but I call it a fast way to use great fruit when it’s in season, without a lot of fuss.

At the beginning of summer, when rhubarb is still lingering around, and strawberries are elbowing their way forward, it’s a good thing the two go so well together. And I’m happy to help them hook up.

I remember a neighbor had a big rhubarb plant in their backyard and we used to dip the raw stalks in a cup of sugar and eat them. (Somehow, we knew not to eat the leaves, which are toxic.) I still remember, not just the fact that you could get free food from the earth, but that something could have so much flavor. Some kids aren’t fond of things that are tangy but I’ve always loved the contrast of sweet and tart.

Recently I was so excited to find such beautiful berries that I bought three big baskets of them. I made a little batch of Strawberry Rhubarb Jam, and another batch of Strawberry Vodka, both of which I hope will prolong the season…unlike this tart, which lasted not so long around here.

I first learned to make tarts like this from Jacques Pépin, when he came to work with us and began his shift by rolling out dough for fruit tarts. He actually double-doughed his tarts, rolling out two rounds of dough, and sandwiching the fruit between the two.

Being French, he brushed the top with lots of butter and liberally dusted the top with sugar. Today I usually make them open-faced, but do brush the crust with lots of butter and a generous sprinkling of sugar, which makes a crunchy crust, and is a nice contrast to the tender fruit-forward filling.

When I posted a picture of this tart on social media, with a promise to share the recipe, a friend, Ann Mah, asked me how I dealt with all the juice from rhubarb, which can exude a moderate amount. Hothouse rhubarb is generally redder in color and holds its color better than field-grown rhubarb once baked. However, I’ve never found much of a correlation between if it’s grown indoors or out, and how much juice it exudes.

That said, as insurance, I sprinkle the dough with a little bit of almond flour to absorb any errant juices. But I don’t mind things being a little bit messy; a friend’s Norwegian grandmother once told me that if pie doesn’t fall apart when you slice it, it’s not going to be any good. This tart slices nicely but tastes great. So you’re getting the best of both worlds here, in more ways than one.

Strawberry Rhubarb Tart
Print Recipe
8 servings
I often sprinkle a little almond flour on the tart dough, to soak up any extra juices that may come out of the fruit when it's baking. You can use cracker or bread crumbs, crumbled amaretti cookies, a bit of flour, or leave it out.For those who want to reduce the sugar, feel free to cut the sugar in the filling down to 1/2 cup (100g). For another variation, you could swap out fresh pitted cherries for the strawberries, or mix a basket or two of raspberries or blackberries with the rhubarb, in place of the strawberries.This tart is sometimes called a galette or crostata and is baked free-form. It could also be baked in a tart pan as well. Be sure to cover the baking sheet well if using parchment paper, to catch any juices that may run out during baking. I used an unrimmed baking sheet for this one but use a rimmed one if you want to make sure you're containing any errant juices.
For the tart dough
1 1/2 cups (210g) flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (4oz, 115g) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
6 tablespoons (90ml) ice water
For the filling
3 cups (13oz, 380g) diced rhubarb (trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch, 2cm pieces)
2 cups (10oz, 300g) strawberries, hulled and quartered
zest of 1 lemon, preferably unsprayed
2/3 cup (130g) sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons almond flour (optional)
1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
turbinado or granulated sugar, for finishing the tart
1. To make the tart dough, mix the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (You can also make it in a food processor, or by hand, using a pastry blender.) Add the cold butter and mix until the butter pieces are the size of peas.
2. Add the ice water and continue to mix just until the dough comes together. Gather the dough with your hands, shape it into a disk, wrap it plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
3. Put the rhubarb and strawberries in a medium bowl with the lemon zest. Sprinkle the sugar and corn starch on top, but do not mix the ingredients together yet. (If you do, they'll start to juice and may be overly juicy by the time you're ready to use them.)
4. Preheat the oven to 400ºF (200ºF). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to a 14-inch (36cm) circle and place it on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the almond flour over the tart dough, if using. Mix the fruit together with the sugar and corn starch and place the fruit into the center of the tart dough, then spread it with your hands, leaving 3-inch (8cm) of space between the fruit and the edge of the dough.
6. Fold the edges of the dough up and over the fruit filling. Brush the crush liberally with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Bake the tart until the filling is cooked and bubbling, and the crust is golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and slide the tart off the baking sheet, onto a cooling rack.

Serving: Serve the tart on its own, or with Vanilla Ice Cream, White Chocolate and Fresh Ginger Ice Cream, or Cinnamon Ice Cream, or a dollop of crème fraîche.

Storage: The unrolled dough can be refrigerated for up to three days, or frozen for up to two months. The baked tart is best the same day but can be stored at room temperature for up to two days. (The dough will get softer the longer it sits.)

 

 

A rustic fruit tart that features the best of the season!

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44 comments

  • Elise
    June 6, 2018 2:02pm

    Can you show us how to make a double-doughed one? Reply

    • June 6, 2018 2:20pm
      David Lebovitz

      Just double the dough recipe, then divide the dough so one part is a bit larger than the other. Then roll the smaller one for the bottom, prepare the fruit and tart dough just as written here, then roll the other (larger) piece of dough so it covers the top and tuck and edges below the tart. Brush the top with butter and sprinkle with sugar, poke a few holes in to the top dough (as you would a pie) and bake until the fruit is bubbling through the slit in the top and the crust is well-browned. Reply

      • Pam
        June 6, 2018 7:40pm

        Thank you! I had the same question!
        I like your almond flour idea too! Reply

  • June 6, 2018 2:47pm

    What a good idea to use almond flour to soak up juices. I bet that adds nice flavor too. I like your Norwegian friend’s grandmother’s attitude about a messy pie. Reply

  • Cherie Visconti
    June 6, 2018 4:01pm

    Why do you sprinkle the fruit with sugar and cornstarch early in the process ( since you don’t want juices released) why not just do it later in the recipe at the point where you instruct to incorporate?

    I make versions of this all summer long , usually 2 at a time with whatever fruit or combo is in my kitchen ( great when summer fruit is ending to be used up) my “cheat” , I’ll call it variation :) is frozen puff pastry sheets . Super fast and easy ! Reply

    • June 6, 2018 6:25pm
      David Lebovitz

      It’s to make the recipe “flow” better. When writing it, I separated the ingredients into two lists; the dough and the topping, and thought it would be easier for people to just put everything in the bowl at the same time, rather than go back and explain how to add the sugar and starch again later.

      And yes, frozen puff pastry is a good hack, although this is pretty easy too : ) Reply

  • Steve San Francisco
    June 6, 2018 4:24pm

    Can’t wait to make this for my husband who loves to rattle the nerves of waiters by asking for rhubarb pie. Love L’Appart!! Reply

    • June 6, 2018 6:25pm
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks! Really glad you liked L’appart – it was quite a story… Reply

      • Bebe
        June 6, 2018 9:23pm

        Some of us went along with you as you lived L’appart. It was quite an experience! Reply

  • June 6, 2018 4:53pm

    Yay! I have been hoarding the last of my strawberries and rhubarb waiting for this recipe. My berries are really on their last legs, so I’ll be baking this today! (And maybe I’ll add a layer of frangipane, as you do in your summer fruit tart recipe.) Reply

  • Miriam
    June 6, 2018 5:23pm

    Why not layer the crust with frangipani, as you do with your apricot and cherry galette? I’ve made that many times and love how dry the crust stays thanks to the frangipani waterproofing. Reply

    • Linda
      June 6, 2018 5:41pm

      I’ve used a layer of frangipani on a strawberry rhubarb pie and it worked well at keeping the bottom crust from getting soggy and was delicious. But I’ll try this for the simplicity of it. Reply

    • June 6, 2018 6:26pm
      David Lebovitz

      Frangipane is really good with fruit tarts although there’s more liquid in this tart than, say, an apple or plum tart, so it might get lost in the mix (in terms of texture), but would certainly taste good. Reply

  • Charlene V
    June 6, 2018 5:38pm

    Sounds delightful—my favorite spring-summer fruit combo! I recently saw a recipe in a book about cast iron cooking where you make the galette in a cast iron frying pan, which sounds terrific for baking (nice and brown on the bottom). Have you ever done this? Reply

    • June 6, 2018 6:27pm
      David Lebovitz

      I’ve not, but it may be troublesome to try to remove the tart from a cast-iron skillet. I also only have a 10-inch cast iron skillet, and this tart is a little larger. Although if you wanted to use one, you could just trim the recipe down a little. Reply

      • Charlene V
        June 7, 2018 5:34pm

        Thank you. I will have to give it a try when my kitchen remodel is finished. So far I’ve not experienced too many problems such as what you described in l’appart! So far I’ve made biscuits very successfully in my toaster oven, so I may have to make strawberry shortcake in the meantime. Reply

  • June 6, 2018 5:42pm

    This looks so good and so easy, I’m going on an immediate search for fruit! I love the idea of the almond flour too, especially since I have a ridiculously large bag of it to use up–despite my frequent baking of the super yummy almond croissants you featured in “L’Appart.” Thanks! Reply

    • June 6, 2018 6:28pm
      David Lebovitz

      Yes! Those almond croissants from L’appart are really good…and easy, too. Happy you like them : ) Reply

  • Margaret
    June 6, 2018 6:06pm

    Years ago (the 70’s) I lived in Canada, and a neighbor gave me rhubarb from her garden… Being from Texas I’d never seen it before since I don’t think it grows well in hot climates. I made a rhubarb custard pie from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook that my Mom gave me before I left home and it was the best pie I’ve ever tasted, even to this day. After I returned to Texas I tried making it again from grocery store rhubarb, and it was awful. I lost my BB&B cookbook but recently found a similar recipe in one of Marion Cunningham’s
    cookbooks. I’ll have to try making your tart — it looks delicious. Reply

  • June 6, 2018 6:14pm

    I love your friend’s Norwegian grandmother’s attitude about pie – in fact, I think it’s applicable to most desserts!

    I’ll have to give this a shot and serve it to my rhubarb-averse boyfriend (without him seeing me make it, of course!). Reply

  • easknh
    June 6, 2018 6:29pm

    My husband and I make several large batches of strawberry rhubarb vodka every year. The color and flavor totally bleeds out of the fruit, although both fade a little over time. It is delicious served over ice with a little bit of something sweet; we like homemade lime cordial but it would be good with a splash of Rose’s or some lemon or lime ade.

    On a different note, I recently saw a recipe for pickled strawberries. What would you do with those? Reply

  • Deborah
    June 6, 2018 6:31pm

    Oh, boy, can hardly wait to try this!!!
    But in the meantime, I’d like to ask a question, if I could, about your almond cake, which is one of my go-to favorites. I’d like to take one to Missoula (from Seattle); can the cake be frozen for a day before traveling? If not, can you suggest changes to successfully adapt the recipe for baking at 3,200 feet (1,000 meters)? Reply

  • Simon Beachley
    June 6, 2018 6:37pm

    And on another note, my Husband and I and two friends will be in Paris for the New Years Eve 350th Anniversary of the Opéra National de Paris. Lucky us, but we would like a recommendation or two for dinner after (and other nights. We’re staying at the Hotel D’Angleterre at 44 rue Jacob. Appreciate your help, Simon. Reply

  • June 6, 2018 7:01pm
    David Lebovitz

    Simon: I never go out to a restaurant on New Year’s Eve but you can check the suggestions in my FAQs. You might also want to check if Verjus is open, although since it’s six months away, not sure if they (or others) are taking reservations yet.

    Deborah: IHigh-altitude baking isn’t my area of specialty, but that cake can be frozen.

    easknh: The pickled strawberries are delicious with cheese, especially goat cheese, but are also good on morning toast, for those who want breakfast on the less-sweet side. Reply

  • Charles Shere
    June 6, 2018 9:15pm

    In my experience a galette is what you’re describing here, flaky pastry rolled or stretched out, sliced fruit filling, edges curled over, baked on a sheet. A crostata on the other hand has a short crust, often latticed, and filled with jam. At least in Piemonte. Two different things. And how I love both. Reply

    • June 8, 2018 12:49pm
      David Lebovitz

      Interestingly, I’ve never seen an open-faced fruit tart sold as a galette in France. A galette is usually a buckwheat crêpe or a Galette des rois. (Tarts like this one are usually referred to as a just a tarte.) A crostata does have a lattice top but I see that in the U.S. (and perhaps elsewhere?), an open-faced fruit tart like this sometimes gets referred to as a crostataReply

  • June 6, 2018 9:41pm

    As soon as get back home into my kitchen I am going to make this. I have been baking my rhubarb with honey for a compote, it produced a nice tart flavor. Reply

  • June 6, 2018 9:45pm

    To me, rhubarb rhymes with raspberries. My grandma, who had an enormous garden, grew rhubarb and raspberries, which she turned into jam. However, given the price of raspberries vs. strawberries and that I have both in my garden but neither gives enough fruit, I will go with the strawberries that you suggest.
    I recently made a rhubarb clafoutis, with not a ton of sugar so it was very tart, and I loved it like that. Reply

  • Hope Anderson
    June 6, 2018 10:53pm

    I can’t wait to try this! I make a lot of galettes and always sprinkle a mixture of ground nuts (hazelnuts, pistachios or almonds), sugar and flour on the pastry before adding the fruit. It both soaks up the juice and adds texture and flavor. Reply

  • June 7, 2018 3:27am

    any suggestions for changing the rhubarb in the recipe.. i cant get rhubarb where i live, Singapore. Reply

    • Hope Anderson
      June 7, 2018 3:58am

      There’s no substitute for rhubarb, but you can use many other kinds of fruit in a tart like this. Just make sure that what you use tastes good when cooked. Reply

    • Dawn
      June 8, 2018 5:27am

      Agree with Hope, but Hawthorne fruit and / or tamarind could help get the tartness of rhubarb. Reply

  • Aida
    June 7, 2018 12:40pm

    temperature 400F? Reply

  • Paula
    June 7, 2018 2:32pm

    Well, it looks yummy, but I’ve always thought a strawberry rhubarb pie was a waste of strawberries.

    It sure is a pretty tart, though. Reply

  • Suzanne
    June 8, 2018 11:46pm

    A no fuss but delicious recipe! I usually get scared by making my own tart/galette dough, but this one was totally doable, even without an electric mixer (just knives and a spoon in the end). I used 90g of sugar, but would even use less the next time. Thanks for the recipe! Reply

  • susan
    June 9, 2018 3:34am

    This was easy and delish. Doubled the recipe and made 3. One for dinner party, 1 for friend and 1 for left overs next day.
    Never liked rhubarb but I kind of even craved this. Crust was devine. Thanks DL Reply

  • Colette Saint-Pierre
    June 9, 2018 5:32pm

    Excellent recipe, perfect kick-off for summer baking. I used pistaschio flour because that’s what I had on hand. It added a nice flavour. Thank you David on the tip of not mixing fruit & sugar until ready to use. Very much appreciate your detailed instructions and tips in every recipe you publish. Reply

  • Rebecca
    June 11, 2018 1:35am

    Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! This is one of the best, and easiest, crusts I’ve ever made. I’ve used it to make two different fruit tarts already! Rhubarb is a bit hard to come by where I live, so I’ve Taken liberties with the filling. I made the first using a mix of strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, which was beautifully sweet-tart. The lemon zest added the perfect bright note. The second time I used a mix of peaches and blueberries, and substituted a bit of cinnamon for the zest. Both iterations were fantastic. And the crust stayed wonderfully crisp and flaky, even on the bottom of the peach version – no doubt thanks to the tip re: almond flour. Reply

  • VK
    June 11, 2018 4:40am

    Wonderful recipe! The almond flour really does the trick. I made the crust with white whole wheat flour instead of regular AP, and it was amazing! Perfect not too sweet summer dessert! Reply

  • Lynne
    June 11, 2018 11:53pm

    How happy was I to have read this post and then find beautiful rhubarb at the farmers market in Santa Fe this past weekend. The tart came together beautifully and my guests who swore they didn’t eat dessert had seconds. Thanks David! Reply

  • Ellen
    June 12, 2018 4:32pm

    My second tart in two days is in the oven. I wanted to take one to a friend who just had surgery so I made one yesterday to practice. With rhubarb and strawberries from the farmers’ market, this tart is delicious! I did use a double crust and baked it in a deep dish pie plate for ease of transport. I am also taking my copy of L’Appart to my friend to read while she’s recuperating. I almost envy her reading it for the first time while eating this scrumptious tart. Thanks, David! Reply

  • Maria
    June 12, 2018 9:37pm

    This was great! I didn’t use almond flour but didn’t have any issues with juice leakage/sogginess. Only ended up with 2 cups of rhubarb so I used tart cherries to make up the difference and it was ace! Reply

  • Lenita
    June 14, 2018 12:08am

    I made this strawberry rhubarb tart a few days ago. It was wonderful. And in the U.S., at least where I live, we call it a crostata (with the fold-over pastry). Reply

  • Sarahb1313
    June 17, 2018 10:11pm

    I got the last of the rhubarb and the first of the strawberries at the farmers market in the Adirondacks this weekend. And this was screaming my name! I am partial to very little sugar in my fruit desserts, not because I have a problem with sugar (Nickmamed affectionately “sugar-slut”), but because it often seems cloying with fruit. One of the reasons I hate traditional apple pie (Why so much sugar??)
    So, I started sprinkling in the first 1/3 cup, and just felt it was sufficient. The berries were so sweet from the market vs the store, I bet I could have gotten away with even less.
    Perhaps with less luscious berries I might add more…
    No lemon, so added a spoon of sweet balsamic for some acid and brightness.
    No complaints. I know I changed a few things, and usually, David, I rarely do with your recipes. But it was all about the fruit and crust. And we were a happy bunch this beautiful afternoon!
    Thanks again for the recipe! Reply

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