Our allotment is still giving us rhubarb: blush tinged sticks of green that are just asking to be made into a summery dessert. So very often I use them to make a crumble, and there is nothing wrong with that, but the other day I fancied a change and that is when these free-form tarts came about.
I made four individual tarts, but you could of course make one large one if you prefer. On the day that I made these my daughter went fruit picking with a friend and returned home with a basket of strawberries, so I served these alongside the tart with some cream. The strawberries turned out to be a pretty good addition. In fact they would work equally well in the tart with the peaches or the rhubarb if you too are lucky enough to have some to hand.
Peach, Rhubarb & Pistachio Tarts
4 ripe peaches
200g soft brown sugar
6 sticks of rhubarb, chopped into approx. 2 - 3 cms pieces
1 box / packet of ready-rolled shortcrust pastry or sweet pastry.
50g pistachio nuts, chopped
sugar for sprinkling
milk or egg to glaze
a few sprigs of lemon thyme to garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180℃ / 350/ GM4
Melt the butter in a small pan and place the sugar in a shallow dish or plate. Brush the peaches with the melted butter, then roll them in the sugar. Place all four peaches snuggly in a dish and roast in the oven for approx. 20mins, or until soft enough to easily slip a sharp knife through.
Repeat the butter and sugar process with the rhubarb pieces and lay them onto a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 10 - 15mins until soft. When the rhubarb is cooked, remove from the oven and keep aside.
When the peaches are cool enough to handle, remove the skin and stone and chop the flesh into fairly chunky pieces.
Unroll your pastry onto a lightly floured surface and cut out 4 circles. I used a cereal bowl as a guide for my circles. Place your four circles on a greased / floured baking sheet.
Divide the peach and rhubarb between the four pastry circle, placing it in the centre and leaving the outer edge of your pastry circles free of filling. Sprinkle on the pistachios and then turn the pastry edges over onto the fruit. You can pinch the pastry in places to secure if you like. Glaze the pastry with a little milk or beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake in the oven for approx. 20 - 25 mins, or until pastry is golden. Serve with cream, custard or ice cream.
Photography: Buttercup Days