One of the greatest things about country living is the kindness of neighbors. They keep an eye on the comings and goings of your animals but they also like to share surplus harvests from their garden.
Fresh organic and locally grown Rhubarb was left on our doorstep a few days ago by our neighbors with a note to “enjoy” and “shout” if we needed more. This prompted me to dig out my Grandmothers battered copy of Mrs. Beeton’s (Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management first published in 1909).
In the the book I discovered a handwritten recipe in French written by her mother dated 1903 in an envelope stamped Nantes, which is a fairly large town built on an estuary in the Brittany area of France.
Consequently, the Rhubarb Frangipane Pie has been handed down over four generations and now shared with you to share with your family.
Rhubarb Frangipane Pie
- 350 g shortcrust pastry defrosted if frozen
- 400 g rhubarb trimmed and cut into thumb size lengths
- 225 g caster sugar
- 150 g unsalted butter softened
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup of natural greek yogurt
- 100 g ground almonds
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 50 g plain flour plus extra for rolling
Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4.
Roll the pastry out thinly and use to line a deep 23cm fluted tart tin.
Prick the base, line with baking parchment, fill with baking beans and cook for 15 minutes, then remove the beans and parchment and bake for a further 5 minutes, until the pastry is cooked through.
Meanwhile, toss together the rhubarb and 75g sugar. Put the mixture into a pan and gently stew for 10-15 minutes, until the rhubarb is just tender but still holding its shape.
Using electric beaters, whisk together the butter, eggs, almonds, baking powder, yogurt, flour, and remaining 150g sugar, until very soft. Place ½ the rhubarb in the base of the pastry case.
Spread the almond mixture over the top, then scatter over the remaining rhubarb.
Sprinkle with an extra 1 tbsp sugar and bake for 45 minutes, until golden (cover loosely with foil if it starts to brown on top).
Leave to cool, then slice and serve with a spoonful of clotted cream.
Handy Tip When handling frozen shortcrust pastry after defrosting try and work on it at room temperature. Take your time and after every maneuver allow it to rest in the fridge to get its breath back. It's a simple process and will stop your pastry shrinking and toughening
To finish a perfect meal, served Rhubarb Frangipane Pie after a family Sunday lunch and to accompany the dish, Quevedo White Port. Above all, great fruity intensity, with a great balance between acidity and sweetness. However, you need to add some great family stories to really make a memorable day. Available from Naked Wines.