This one is for Robert, or……………

the squeaky reader gets the decadence.  Ok, Robert, you asked for it, so here it is:   Strawberry Rhubarb Cream Cheese Tart.  I hope this satiates you for a while because it’s all I got at the moment. 

Stop licking the computer screen!

We went to Chuck and Emily’s last night for our first barbeque of the summer season.  I made a spicy wheat berry salad (which was yumtastic, BTW) and this delectable little morsel. 

A little something I whipped up

Our neighbour, Snowie, the 83-year-old Master Gardener, has a massive amount of rhubarb in her garden.  Her 53-year-old son, John, invited me over to cut as much rhubarb as I wanted.  He confided in me that he has never, ever eaten rhubarb in his life!  His mother grows it every year.  I teased him and inquired if he was afraid of it.  Bingo!  He said he was,  indeed, afraid of rhubarb.  I don’t want to cast dispersion on the neighbour and I want the free rhubarb to keep coming, so I will reserve comment on this one. 

OK, I admit that I want to lick the screen now

So, I’m sure many of you out there in blogville and saying “Enough with the chit chat and witty repartee, VG, get to telling us how we can make this at home!”  Fine.  If you insist, here goes: 

The Crust 

adapted from The Pie and Pastry Bible 


Rose Levy Beranmaum 

Sweet Cookie Tart Crust 

1 stick cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes 

1/4 cup sugar 

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 

1/8 teaspoon salt 

1 large egg yolk 

2 tablespoons buttermilk (the original recipe calls for heavy cream, but buttermilk is all I had on hand) 

 Pulse sugar and butter in food processor about 15 times or until sugar disappears.  Add the flour and salt and pulse again until the butter is no larger than small peas. 

In a small bowl, combine egg yolk and buttermilk (or heavy cream).  Add it to the  mixture and pulse just until incorporated.  The dough will still be in crumbly pieces.  Empty it into a plastic bag and press from the outside until it holds together. 

Remove the dough from the bag and place on a large piece of plastic wrap; knead the dough a few times until it becomes one smooth piece.  Flatten to a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes in fridge or freeze for 10 minutes until it is firm enough to roll. 

Roll dough out on a piece of plastic wrap.  Transfer to a tart pan.  Chill again for about 30 minutes. 

Place a piece of parchment paper over the crust bottom and use pie weights or dried beans to fill the inside.   Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for five minutes.  Reduce heat to 375 degrees and continue baking for 15 minutes.  Remove parchment and pie weights and return tart shell to the oven.  Bake another 10 -13 minutes, until the crust is set and lightly browned. 

 While all of this baking is happening, make your cream cheese filling.  I made this one up on the fly.  It turned out great and is super simple. 

Cream Cheese filling 

8 ounces cream cheese 

4 ounces mascarpone 

1 large egg 

1/2 cup sugar 

1 teaspoon vanilla 

Dump it all in the food processor and blend until silky smooth.  Stop and scrap several times in the process.  That’s all, folks.  I told you it was simple. 

Another tempting look. Check out that cream cheese filling.

So, what’s the red saucy stuff on top of those beautiful strawberries?  That’s where that scary rhubarb comes in.  Heh heh! 

Rhubarb Sauce 

About two cups of washed and chopped fresh rhubarb (or frozen) 

1 cup sugar 

2 – 4 tablespoons corn starch 

1 – 2 drops red food coloring (optional) 

Place rhubarb and sugar in sauce pan.  Let sit until the rhubarb starts releasing  it’s juice.  I actually frozen the rhubarb a few days before making this tart.  It works great because I thawed it out the night before in the fridge, it became juicy and I could make the sauce right away. 

Bring the rhubarb and sugar to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook until the rhubarb starts to break down and gets really soft.  Dissolve cornstarch in a small amount of water and whisk into the rhubarb sugar mixture.  Cook until thickened slightly.  Add food color, if desired.  Remove from heat and allow to cool. 

OK, so now you have all of your components.  Bake the tart shell,  add the  cream cheese filling and smooth.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 – 30 minutes, until filling is set.  Remove from oven and cool slightly on the counter and then refrigerate until completely cold. 

Slice strawberries in half.  Arrange in a pretty fashion on top of the filling.  Pour and spread evenly (I used a pastry brush) the rhubarb sauce on top.  You will have some sauce left over, lucky you!  It’s great on ice cream, waffles, pancakes, standing in front of the open fridge with a spoon in your hand, etc.  Put it on whatever you want; wink wink, nudge nudge. 

Enjoy and welcome summer!

I just learned a new technique using Picasa!


13 Responses to “This one is for Robert, or……………”

  1. June 26, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    Okay, I have to admit that I felt a little cautious myself about the rhubarb… I mean, rhubarb, who in the heck eats rhubarb. My favorite vegetable growing up was brussel sprouts, so trust me, I know weird when I see weird, ’cause I’m about as weird as weird gets. But anyone who WANTS to eat rhubarb must be fit for the loony bin, right?

    Well, at first bite of this delightful tart concoction that my lovely lady whipped up, I found myself delightfully surprised. It’s pretty dang good. About 3 bites in I was SOLD! VampireGran has made a rhubarb believer out of me.

    Hey, how about a rhubarb/brussel sprout cheese cake tart!?! (Okay, who’s getting carried away now?)

    Licks and kisses! Katie

  2. June 26, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Be careful, sweet heart, ask and it is given, every time. It’s the Law of the Universe, after all.

    Seriously, that was an amazing finish to a wonderful evening, no doubt. Thanks for always being the first to comment on my posts and for being my number one fan.


  3. June 27, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    I have never seen a rhubarb before or eaten it. Your tart looks absolutely decadent and tempting to the max.

  4. June 27, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Well, I never thought about people around the globe who may not know what rhubarb is. I’ll have to go next next and snap a few pics of the plants and then write a little rhubarb educational piece.

    The tart was quite exquisite. I really need to invent some sort of scratch and sniff or virtual taste functions for the computer!

    Thanks for stopping in, BookJunkie!


  5. June 27, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Hi! I too look at beautiful rhubarb and have NO idea if i want to mess with it. My dad’s side of the family complained of it, my gramma grew it. The educational bit would be nice and helpful of you, then I could try it out.

    I have a question about the tart directions above please: “Bring the rhubarb and sugar to a boil.” I am looking for the water, and then I thought about the juice that you said would release….is the juice the fluid needed? do i scoop the sugar-rhubarb out and leave fluid in bowl? I love working with marscapone, I entered a tart into a food show once…black bottom bourbon cheesecake!

  6. June 27, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Yes, the juice released from the combination of rhubarb and sugar should be plenty of fluid. If not, you can add a little water, if needed. I find the best way to deal with fresh rhubarb is to clean it, cut into 1/2 – 1 inch pieces, throw it in a freezer bag and just freeze it. When it thaws out, a lot of juice is released and it cooks down a lot quicker.

    I hope that answers your question.

    Rhubarb is a funny plant. It is actually a vegetable, but people use it more as a fruit for things like pies, cobbler, crisps and ice cream toppings. I love the tartness of it, but it does require quite a bit of sugar to make it palitable.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and making a comment. Be on the look out for a more extensive post on rhubarb.



  7. 7 Robert
    June 28, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Wow, there’s a lot of cheesecake in that tart. I’m blushing.
    Vampiregran does it again.

  8. June 28, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    Hey, you asked for it, little mister! I guess next time I make something like this, I’ll have to either send a piece to work with Katie or deliver it personly.


  9. 9 Bellmaster
    July 2, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    I followed the directions exactly as listed, and enjoyed the tart tremendously. It brought back fond memories of my mother, and her rhubarb pies, cobblers, and tarts. Storngly recommend this wonderful taste treat.

  10. July 7, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    What a great celebration! Ours was less complicated and sadly not spent in the kitchen (also my natural habitat).

  11. July 12, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    Everytime I see that there’s rhubarb in a recipe…it bring back very fond memories of my ‘Nonno’ and his garden.

    This cheese tart with all those wonderful strawberries looks absolutely sublime ;o)

    Have a great day and flavourful wishes,

  12. July 14, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    I have never had rhubarb, but that pie looks so very very good, I would love to give it a taste!
    thanks for sharing

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