This recipe by Ed Smith (of Rocket & Squash) hails from The Borough Market Cookbook. It’s best in winter, when rhubarb and citrus fruit are brightening up market stalls. This free-form or galette (a pie that can hold its own shape, essentially) uses ground and stem ginger to tie and mellow the sour and the sweet fruits, writes Smith. We like it with a big dollop of custard. You can purchase the book here.
Rhubarb, Orange & Ginger Free-Form Tart
For the pastry:
- 250g spelt flour, plus extra for dusting
- 130g cold salted butter, cubed
- 1 heaped teaspoon ground ginger
- 70g icing sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
- grated zest of 1 orange
- 2-4 tablespoons cold milk
For the filling:
- 500g forced rhubarb, cut into 3-4cm batons
- 2 pieces of stem ginger cut into thin matchsticks, plus 3 tablespoons of syrup from the jar
- Flesh of 1 orange, cut into 2-3cm chunks
- 50g golden caster sugar
- 50g ground almonds
- Ice cream, double cream or custard
- To make the pastry, combine the flour, butter, ground ginger, icing sugar and salt until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. You can do this with your fingertips or a pastry blender. Add the orange zest and 2 tablespoons of the cold milk and press together to form a ball of dough. Use an extra 1–2 tablespoons of milk if necessary. Push the pastry into a disc 2-3cm thick, wrap completely and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, ideally more.
- When the pastry has been in the fridge for at least 1 hour, put the rhubarb batons, stem ginger (not the syrup) and orange into a bowl, scraping any juice from the orange on top. Add the caster sugar, mix and leave for 10 minutes or so to macerate.
- Preheat the oven to 180C fan/200C/gas mark 6 and line a large baking sheet with greaseproof paper, using a smudge of butter to secure it in place.
- Unwrap the pastry and roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a rough 2–3mm-thick circle. Trim the rough edges with a knife, then lift the pastry onto the lined baking sheet by rolling it onto a floured rolling pin, and flopping it flat onto the sheet. Spoon the ground almonds into a circle in the middle of the pastry, leaving a 4–5cm border between the almonds and the edge of the pastry. Arrange the fruit on top of the almonds (but none of the residual liquid), then create sides for the tart by turning the pastry up, towards and a little over the fruit in 6 or 7 moves. Bake the tart towards the top of the oven for 50 minutes, until the pastry is golden and firm, and the rhubarb pink and soft.
- While the tart is baking, mix the stem ginger syrup with any residual macerating juices.
- Remove the tart from the oven and brush the syrup over the pastry and the fruit to give it a pleasingly sweet and spicy sheen before slicing and serving with ice cream, double cream or custard.