Feature

Jude's rustic tart

Green Lifestyle magazine

Mixing wholefood ingredients with just the right amount of "deliciousness", we share one of Jude Blereau's tempting sweet dishes with you.

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Jude Blereau's rustic rhubarb and strawberry tart.

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This recipe is an extract from Wholefood baking by Jude Blereau, Murdoch Books, $45.

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We published this gorgeous recipe in the current Sept/Oct issue of Green Lifestyle magazine, however we unfortunately missed out on including the ingredients for the classic sweet shortcrust pastry – so here it is again. Happy seasonal cooking!

Rhubarb and strawberry tart

Ingredients:
1 quantity classic sweet shortcrust pastry (see below for recipe), rested and well chilled
1 tablespoon raw or golden caster (superfine) sugar, extra for sprinkling (optional)

Filling
600 g rhubarb, trimmed of leaves and bases, washed and cut into 2–3 cm pieces
500–600 g ripe strawberries, hulled, washed and larger ones halved or quartered
55 g raw sugar or 60 ml maple syrup
2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch) or kudzu (kuzu), or spelt or wheat flour

Method:
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Roll out the pastry to a 30–35 cm diameter circle. Move the pastry to the baking tray (I generally fold it) and centre it – depending on the size of the tray, it may overhang the sides a little. Don’t worry about this as you will be folding this over the fruit. If the weather is warm, or the pastry has softened, place it in the fridge at this point to chill while you prepare the fruit.

Place the rhubarb and strawberries or other fruits (any fruits in season will work) in a bowl, together with the sugar or maple syrup and cornflour and toss through gently. Don’t do this step too early, as the juices will weep from the fruit and you want them to do this in the oven, where they will be immediately bound by the cornflour.

Remove the pastry from the fridge – it should be chilled but not so firm that you can’t fold the sides inward. If you do not already have a tray under the pastry, slide one under now. Either arrange the prepared fruit in an attractive pattern, or simply pile it into the middle and gently spread to leave a border of about 8 cm. Fold the pastry border over the fruit, peeling it from the paper underneath as you go. Try not to fold the pastry over itself as this gives you too many layers and it will not cook properly. Use kitchen scissors if needed to cut any pastry that is too wide. Sprinkle with the extra sugar if desired. If required, trim the sides of the baking paper to fit the tray.

Place the tart in the freezer for 5–10 minutes to chill up.

Place the tart in the oven. You can tell if your temperature is right by how the butter is behaving; if it is running out of the pastry, you need to turn it up – it should be sizzling on the pastry or at the base of it.

Bake for 15–20 minutes before reducing to 180°C for about 35 minutes or until the pastry is lightly golden, and juices are bubbling, which indicates that the starch has cooked out. I also like to see that the juices have begun to ooze from the tart. If this has not happened, but the pastry is beginning to burn, reduce the oven temperature slightly. Don’t be worried if the juices look too watery, they will thicken as they cool a little. Serves 10–12

Classic sweet shortcrust pastry

Wheat-free, egg-free
Rolls out to a 30–35 cm round

Ingredients:
180 g cold unsalted butter
130 g unbleached white spelt flower
145 g wholemeal spelt flower
2 tablespoons golden caster (superfine) sugar
a pinch of fine sea salt
90-170 ml ice-cold water
1½ teaspoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar (optional)

Method:
Put dry ingredients in a bowl. Use fingertips and thumbs to rub butter into dry ingredients. The aim is to press butter into flat chips, coated with flour. Work quickly and lightly so your hands don’t make the butter melt. When ready, the chips should be the size of small breadcrumbs, to small lentils to small navy beans. Note: you can also use a pastry cutter to do this job; or pulse the ingredients in a food processor a couple of times, which will result in slightly smaller chips.

If using a processor, return mix to bowl. Add lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to the water and, using a butter knife, begin to mix the water into the flour and butter. Add water little by little (you may only use 100 ml), cutting wet bits into dry bits, mixing and stirring.

When the mix looks moist, bring it together in a ball without kneading. Flatten, wrap and chill at least one hour before using, even overnight.

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This recipe is an extract from Wholefood baking by Jude Blereau, Murdoch Books, $45. For more info, visit www.wholefoodcooking.com.au