Rhubarb Tart

 My favorite thing in Paris was probably the cooking class we took.  It was a four hour, English-language, class through La Cuisine Paris.  We began at the market to shop for food.

After that we went back to the kitchen to make and then eat an amazing lunch.  We had cod with shallots and thyme, asparagus and peas, turnips with hazelnuts and parsley, salad, a variety of goat cheeses with a cherry chutney.

For dessert we had a delicious rhubarb tart with a strawberry mint compote.

When we got to our apartment in Paris, and I was making the salmon crepes, I wondered why there were no measuring spoons or cups.  I realized why at the cooking class, everything is weighed.  I always thought this would be a big hassle but it wasn't and it makes your measurements for baking more accurate.  The volume of flour, for example, is quite variable.

I'm sure it will catch on in the States soon.  Just like the metric system.  Don't worry though, if you don't happen to have a scale at the ready.  I have recreated the recipe with American measures.

I love this crust.  It is exactly my sort of thing, it couldn't possibly be simpler but no one would suspect it.  Unlike most pie crusts, it doesn't need to be chilled, it doesn't need to be rolled out, and there is no fear about melting the butter and ruining the flakiness.  There is no butter!

You simply mix all the ingredients together and press the crust into a greased and floured tart pan.  The pan we used was larger than the typical pie tin and the sides were vertical, rather than sloped.  I used a spring-form pan when I recreated it at home.

One thing I learned, which makes total sense now, is that you should let any pre-cooked pie filling (like the rhubarb above) cool before adding it to the pie crust (or the heat will melt the crust).
The recipe is pretty light on the sugar.  I like the tartness of the rhubarb but you may want to use 1/2 cup of sugar if you like things sweeter.

All in all the class was great and the food simply marvelous.  The strawberry compote is very easy: strawberries, thinly sliced fresh mint, lemon juice and sugar.  Mix them all together and let sit for about 20 minutes.  The lemon juice and sugar will cook the strawberries.

Rhubarb Tart

2 cups flour
3/4 (scant) olive oil
3/4 (scant)very hot water
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar

1. Mix all the ingredients together.
2. Butter and flour a tart pan.
3. Press crust into a flat circle with your hands and place in the pan.  Press into the pan until the crust is evenly distributed along bottom and sides.

2 lbs rhubarb, peeled and cut
1/3 cup sugar, divided
1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon juice
3 eggs
3/4 cup cream
1. Cook rhubarb, half of the sugar, the vanilla and the lemon juice on the stove over med heat for about 10 min.  Let cool.
2. Beat eggs, cream and remaining sugar together.
3. Spread rhubarb in crust, pour egg mixture over.
4. Cook for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.  Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and cook another 40 minutes.
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  1. I made this tart (along with the rest of our Parisian meal) for Charlie's birthday. He loves rhubarb but, alas, I have never made anything with rhubarb before because I thought I didn't like it. I forgot to put any sugar in the egg mixture and used too much with the rhubarb. I also had to use frozen rhubarb (gasp!) since it was not available fresh. It was still good!

    Charlie ate a center hunk of each of the cheeses right out of the fridge while I was preparing the meal. How American! But it WAS his birthday.

  2. Thank you Jill for teaching Leslie how to cook with rhubarb.
    And what is wrong with taking chunks of cheese and eating them? It is not like they are works of art or anything!