Hi everyone! Wow, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? Almost a year has gone by since I’ve last posted, and I blame med school (mostly). This past year has been so crazy and hectic; everyone tells you medical school is time-consuming, but you cannot fully understand the utter lack of free time until you live the lifestyle. I’ve become better at managing my time as the year has gone by, but I still often struggle to muster up the energy to cook a real meal. So this summer I resolve to try and get in the habit of cooking more and eating more healthily!…after I finish eating these tarts, of course. I was at a farmer’s market in Augusta when I spied a jumble of jewel-red rhubarb stalks for only $3 a pound! It wasn’t until the bundle of rhubarb was sitting on my counter that I realized I had no idea what to do with them… I wanted a recipe that was a little different than the standard rhubarb pies, crumbles, etc. As I was shuffling through my pantry to try and find some inspiration, I found a bag of dried hibiscus flowers, or jamaica. I thought the two ingredients would pair perfectly, and like rhubarb, hibiscus flower lends a beautiful, similarly brilliant red to whatever recipe it graces. And thus the Rhubarb-Hibiscus Mascarpone Tart was born.
Rhubarb-Hibiscus Mascarpone Tart
Serves 4 -6
Estimated duration: 45 minutes
1 pound rhubarb, leaves trimmed off and stalks cut up into 1 1/2 inch-long pieces
1/2 cup dried hibiscus (jamaica) flowers
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
lemon zest (optional)
8 oz. mascarpone cheese 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
ready-made pie crust/pastry dough (I used the one by pillsbury- a package of two pie crust dough for 9 inch pies)
non-stick tart pan (I used 4 mini-tart pans)
small, handheld strainer
1. Combine the hibiscus, 1 cup sugar, and water in a medium to large saucepan and heat to boiling.
2. After the above mixture reaches a boiling point, reduce to simmer for 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. Assemble the tart crust by pressing the dough into your tart pan.
5. Prick the bottom of your tart dough with a fork to ensure the bottom of your tart will stay flat while baking.
6. Bake the tart for 12-14 minutes if they are mini tarts (I used four 4.75 inch diameter ones) or 20-25 minutes if a larger, 9-inch one). I would watch this part and check until the crust is golden brown. Let crusts cool.
7. Mix the mascarpone, the lemon juice, the cinnamon, and the 1/4 cup sugar until smooth. Spoon into the cooled tart crusts.
8. Return to the hibiscus/sugar/ water mixture. By now it should be a syrupy consistency. Strain or ladle out the hibiscus flowers and add the rhubarb.
9. Bring the rhubarb/syrup to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes or until tender.