I don’t often repeat things on the blog, but I love the concept of tarts made with puff pastry so much that I made another version, this time with a strawberry and rhubarb filling. These simple and easy to make tarts come together quickly once the sheet of frozen puff pastry is thawed, so these mini-tarts are great if you’re pinched for time. The best part is that they’re absolutely delicious. I love the flaky layers of dough as the base for tart rhubarb, sweet strawberries, and an almond crumble flavored with a hint of cinnamon. There’s also a hidden layer of orange-scented cream cheese on the bottom that gives these mini-tarts a touch of creaminess.
These mini-tarts have to be refrigerated since they contain cream cheese, but they actually reheat pretty well. Place them in a 400-degree oven for about 8-10 minutes and the puff pastry regains its flaky texture.
Strawberry Rhubarb Mini-Tarts
Yields 6 servings
3 stalks rhubarb, washed, peeled, and cut into 2-inch long pieces
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/2 cup almond meal/flour
2 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, or more, to taste
3 ounces cream cheese
1 tablespoon orange zest, or more, to taste
6 large strawberries, washed, hulled, and sliced lengthwise
Powdered sugar, for garnish
Whipped cream, for garnish (optional)
Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with Silpat (silicone baking mat) or parchment paper. Set aside.
Place the rhubarb slices in a colander placed over a bowl. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar and a pinch of salt and gently mix until well combined. Let stand for at least 30 minutes to drain as much moisture from rhubarb as possible. Set aside.
Carefully unfold thawed puff pastry sheet. Cut into 6 rectangular pieces and place each piece on the prepared baking sheet. Using a fork, lightly score a border about 1/2-inch from the edge of the puff pastry dough. Cover with a plastic film and chill in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the tart.
To make the almond crumble, mix together the almond meal, brown sugar, vanilla bean seeds or paste, and cinnamon. Set aside.
Combine the cream cheese and orange zest together and mix until well blended.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator. Spread the cream cheese/orange zest mixture in the center of the dough, leaving the border intact. Sprinkle 3/4 of the almond crumble on top of cream cheese. Then, arrange the pieces of rhubarb, followed by the strawberry slices on top. Sprinkle the remaining almond crumble on top, if desired. (Pastries may need to be covered with aluminum foil during the last 5 minutes of baking to prevent crumble topping from burning.) Bake until puff pastry is golden and fruit is soft, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
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