Rustic Strawberry-Rhubarb Crostata

My grandmother loved ginger and she would always add some to her rhubarb preserves. I remember sneaking into her pantry as a kid to eat it by the spoonful. The flavors in this tart remind me of her. The unexpected heat of fresh ginger blends beautifully with tart rhubarb and sweet strawberries. Makes 1 large tart.

Ingredients

2 stalks of fresh rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup of sugar, or to taste
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger root, or to taste
1/2 cup water
1 pint strawberries, hulled and halved
1/2 recipe Classic Flaky Pie Dough or your favorite pie crust
confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Instructions
  1. Combine the rhubarb, sugar, ginger root and water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 – 7 minutes or until the rhubarb begins to soften.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and cool completely.
  4. Stir in the strawberries.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425°F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Roll the disc of dough into an 11-inch round and place it on the parchment lined sheet.
  7. Spread the strawberry mixture evenly over the dough, leaving a 1 1/2 – inch border of dough uncovered around the edge.
  8. Gently fold the edges of the dough to contain the fruit.
  9. Bake until the crust is lightly golden, about 20 to 30 minutes.  Let the tart cool on a rack for at least 10 minutes.
  10. Sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar before serving.

For the Pie Dough

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup butter (2 sticks), cut into 1/2″ cubes and well chilled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup very cold water
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

Instructions
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, butter and salt on low speed until the butter is the size of lima beans (or very large peas).
  2. Quickly add the water and lemon juice in a steady stream and continue mixing for 30 seconds. The dough will not be formed into a smooth mass and will look like a shaggy mess.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide it in half and form it into two disks. Wrap each one in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least two hours or up to two days. Freeze for longer storage.

Tips for a Tender Flaky Pie Crust:

  1. Keep the butter cold and intact. The little pieces of butter in the dough  melt when baked, leaving little holes in the crust. This is what creates flakes.
  2. A tiny bit of acid keeps the dough tender and pliable. My grandmother used vinegar. I prefer lemon juice—either one works.
  3. Always roll from the center of the dough out in one direction. Pushing and pulling the rolling pin forward and backward works the dough and makes it tough.  Rolling the dough from one end to the other also works the dough more than necessary. Start in the center and roll out. Rotate the dough and continue rolling from the center to the outside edge until you have the desired shape and thickness.
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