Saturday, 14 January 2012

mini raspberry and rhubarb crumble tarts

... I awoke this morning to a wonderful frost... the fields lay glistening in the glorious dawn sunshine, their usual emerald green sprinkled in a spiders-web crochet of diamonds... and that etherial pale blue light you only get on a frosty morning was piercing the bedroom... it filled me with hope whilst the air froze my little toes as they peeped out from the end of the bead-spread... 

... I love a winter morning and it's days like this, when you notice for the first time the daffodil shoots pushing out through the frozen earth, that make me glad to be healthy and alive... despite the rather tumultuous few weeks... when you have pastry in your life how bad can it be?

mini raspberry and rhubarb crumble tarts

I've decided to make these because they feel very Spring-like especially as you can now purchase wonderful British forced rhubarb in some shops and I like to start January with a fresh clean taste of the goodness of what's to come.  I like the fact that they are small tarts rather than one large one.  They remind me a little of those classic jam tarts I used to make when I was a child and I think a little bit of nostalgia when cooking is always a good thing. I'm also using this almond based pastry for extra richness.

For the pastry:
200g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
75g caster sugar
100g unsalted butter
100g full fat cream cheese 
75g ground almonds
1 egg yolk
a little milk to bind

- sift the flour baking powder and sugar into a bowl, add the butter and rub until it resembles breadcrumbs
- add the cream cheese, ground almonds and egg yolk, take a knife and mix until it comes together into a dough, you may need to add a little milk here, as I did.
- chill the dough for at least 30 mins before rolling out.

For the filling:
3 medium sticks of rhubarb – finely chopped
1 packet if raspberries
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 dash of orange liquor
a few tablespoons of home-made plum, vanilla and star anise jam.

- gently heat the rhubarb with the sugar and orange liquor and a small splash of water. You
want them to keep their shape and have a gently bite to them.  If this can be made in advance
and stored in jars it will taste more intense but it's not essential

for the crumble topping:
4oz flour
2oz butter
2oz demarera sugar
lots of cinnamon

- mix together into crumbs before using.

To construct the tarts:
roll out the pastry
use a fluted cutter for that old school look, use one larger than the holes in the pie tray and
cut out as many as you need.
paint the inside of each tart with jam (this will seal the pastry)
- fill each tart with a mixture of raspberries and rhubarb, don't make it too neat, you want it
to look like they're pushing to get out of the tarts!
- spoon a generous portion of crumble mixture on top
bake at 180C for roughly 20mins or until the pastry and topping is golden.

I am of course, entering these little beauties into this months Tea Time Treats hosted by the superlative Karen from Lavender and Lovage and the stupendous Kate from What Kate Baked.  The theme this month is Sweet Pastry and Breads...

eat and of course, enjoy!


  1. Mmmm... these look super tasty! I think I might have a go at making them next week. I have a friend coming over for a cooking session and we still haven't decided on a recipe - I guess I will have to browse your blog...

    All the best, Kristina

  2. This is the second time this week I've come across pastry that uses cream cheese, and I'd never known it could be used in pastry before - Maybe it's just a sign of what recipes I've been looking at! I love rhubarb and crumble so these must be delicious.

  3. All of a sudden everyone is blogging about rhubarb. Is it that time of year already??
    I think I'd want my tartlets doused in custard... Or perhaps a dollop of mascarpone.

  4. excellent, rhubarb season is back, happy days

  5. Dom, you are such a tease. Here I am trying to lose a stone by Easter and you post recipes like this...

    WV is "sweetr"....maybe they need a little more sugar....

  6. a lovely post...there are snowdrops peeping out in the garden at my school...made me smile when i noticed them yesterday. these little tarts are perfect!! and you are right...when you have pastry everything looks bright! xx

  7. Pastry is always good! These look great, crumble is one of my favourite puds so crumble and pastry is an excellent combo. Mind you, all this talk of jam tarts is making me crave those too!

  8. What stunning little tarts Dom, and thanks do much for entering them into our January Tea Time Treats challenge.....I am sure they will FLY off the table. I LOVE the cold too....the cleanliness of sparkling white frosts and cutting edge blue skies...I feel your optimism!

  9. I try to eat seasonally as much as possible, but I'm all for the occasional recipe that looks ahead! I can't believe you've already got daffodil shoots coming up, I feel like we haven't even started winter yet!

  10. Oh dear, I think I need one of these RIGHT NOW!!

  11. Now, don't they look good!
    Beautifully fresh and full of the joys of Spring!

  12. A lovely combination of flavours here, and they make a great entry for Tea Time Treats.

  13. Well, hey now! This sounds more like the Dom I've come to know and love! Positively chipper ... despite the chilly toes! Nothing like a frosty morning and natural beauty to perk one up ... yes?

    Now, having rhubarb in January is a true feat! Here in New England, we're just getting our first real winter snow storm and hunkering down with winter fruits ... I did take native blueberries from my freezer yesterday for some breakfast muffins! My rhubarb clump is under six inches of snow! But I can dream! And enjoy those little tarts vicariously!

    Cheers, Dom!

  14. What a wonderful combo of flavours. Loving the mini versions too, I can eat more with loss guilt now ;0)

  15. Beautiful post Dom, you really have a talent for wonderful writing. I too love days like that, and find pleasure in the first sighting of snowdrops and daffodils.

    Love the little tarts - real "cheer me up stuff".

  16. Nice tarts Dom, but erm HELLO people? No comments so far about a plate in the shape of a doily... a DOILY! I love it. I have envy issues.

  17. "despite the rather tumultuous few weeks... when you have pastry in your life how bad can it be?"

    haha beautiful line. beautiful tarts too I might add! never tried an almond-based pastry before which sounds fab! keeping in mind for sure!

  18. Really great looking little crumble tarts Dom, great flavour combination and colour too xx

  19. What a clever idea, love these little mouthfuls of springtime. The rhubarb in my garden won't show itself for some time, but I might go and shove a bucket over some of it to see if I can force some pink shoots.

  20. Wow, these look great! You just beat me to it... I have a little rhubarb recipe on the go this evening! The crumble must make them doubly delicious! :-)

  21. You write a very lovely post Dom. I could picture the frost and blue sky like it was right before my eyes. As for the delicious tarts, YUM! I love cream cheese pastry it adds so much richness. We have a long way to go here in New England before we see any fresh rhubarb.

  22. What a delicious opening to your post! I love rhubarb too, in I fact took some out of the freezer last week and made a pie!

    Your tarts look so delicious, I'm definitely going to give them a try! Thank you for sharing your delicious recipe!

    As for spring flowers - HA - we won't be seeing any shoots until the end of March!!! Lucky you to be able to see signs of spring!


  23. Lovely stuff. I just love that first taste of forced rhubarb and this would do very nicely. There's something about rhubarb that just cries out for crumble.

  24. Lovely stuff - aren't the January frosts and the watery sunshine just beautiful at the moment. Love Yorkshire rhubarb, have yet to see it in the shops round south London way this year, but I'm pouncing on it when I do x

  25. Ooh, I've got to try that almond and cream cheese pastry - it sounds amazing. And mini fruity tarts - well what can I say?

    Love a real frosty blue skied winter day. We had one hear today and I was stuck in an office ALL DAY.

  26. This flavour combo is right up my street. Delicious!

  27. The idea of individual rhubarb tarts is great. Everyone gets the crispy side bits of pastry as well as the edge bits of crumble. Delicious! GG

  28. I have first tasted rhubarb in England and made jams and tarts with it. It is such an interesting fruit.
    I like what you have done here, very inviting!
    I will follow you.

  29. I love a frost in the mornings - it makes me so homesick!
    As it is 35 degrees c today I might have to wait to make this sumptuous little tarts for a cooler day!

  30. These look amazing! Love the little tarts and the cream cheese in pastry, must give that a try.

  31. I so agree with 'when you have pastry in your life how bad can it be?' whenever I feel at a loose end baking restores my spirit :)

    Lovely little tarts, the combination of raspberries and rhubarb sounds heavenly!

  32. Star of stage and screen - fabulous little rustic tarts, what more could a Baking Mad fan want? Once my rhubarb finally comes through I'll have a go at these. You were awesome with Eric, but I thought we should have seen more of you baking with Eric in the Masterclass.


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