Forced rhubarb season is upon us. Grown in the dark, the bright pink stalks are beautiful to cook with, providing a sweet and tart flavour that is often mistaken for a fruit. Yes - rhubarb is in fact a vegetable!
After learning about Xylitol, (Read the blog post here), I thought I'd put the natural sugar alternative to the challenge of balancing the tartness of rhubarb. This recipe uses no other form of sugar, so provides a sweet treat without rapidly raising your blood sugar levels like other sugary foods. Perfect for an after dinner dessert that doesn't leave you buzzing before bed!
Makes 12 tarts
300g plain white flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp xylitol
100g sunflower oil
6 tbsp cold water
2 tbsp xylitol
4 tbsp melted coconut oil
60g whole rolled oats
100g plain white flour
20g flaked almonds
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcuis.
2. For the pastry, mix the flour, baking powder and xylitol in a bowl. Add the oil, and, using a spoon, mix well to create a soft breadcrumb consistency.
3. Add the water and bring the dough together with your hands. Be careful not to kneed or over-work.
4. Wrap the dough in clingfilm, or even better if you have re-usable wrap, and leave to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, trim the rhubarb and cut the stems into thumb length pieces. Place in a saucepan with the xylitol, cover and leave to cook for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
6. Once the pastry dough is chilled, grease a 12 hole muffin tin with a little sunflower oil.
7. Using a knife, cut the dough into 12 balls. To achieve a soft flaky pastry, this dough is tricky to work with, so be patient. Rather than rolling, place one ball of the dough into a muffin tin hole, and gently, with your thumbs, push the dough out from the centre, up the sides of the muffin tin hole. Use your hands to shape the pastry in the tin to the shape of a tart case, aiming for an even thickness all the way around.
8. Repeat with the remaining tarts. Then blind bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until puffy and golden.
9. Once the rhubarb is cooked, take off the heat to cool.
10. For the crumble top, mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl with a spoon.
11. Once the pastry cases have had 20 minutes of blind baking, take them out of the oven. Evenly distribute the rhubarb mix between the tarts, then top with the crumble mix. Using the back of a spoon, gently press the crumble mix down to flatten.
12. Return to the oven for 40 minutes, until golden on top.
13. Serve warm or leave to cool for later. These can also be re-heated in the oven at 180 degrees Celcius for 10-15 minutes.