Home-grown food is the best ever. It’s fresh, it tastes like love and attention went into growing it, and, equally important, it’s usually free.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a garden to grow food in. I live in the West End of Glasgow, and although my flat block does have a patch of ground attached to it, it is used mostly for the bins and the recycling, and the downstairs neighbours seem to store their kids’ shoot in it. I once used this garden to hang my tent out to dry after a camping trip and I got bitten by about 50 midgies and shat on by a seagull, so I’ve not been too tempted to go back out there unless I need to take the rubbish out.
For lack of a garden, I’ve tried to grow ‘plants’ in my kitchen, by which I mean that I once had a living lettuce (mostly because it wasn’t really more expensive than a chopped off, dead lettuce) in a wee box of soil. After I finished the lettuce and it didn’t look like it would be growing back any time soon, I pulled out the roots and stuck a garlic bulb, an avocado pip and some bell pepper seeds in the same soil. I never heard from the latter two again, and the garlic just grew this single, really long stalk that kept bending over when it grew too tall to keep itself up. It recently died when I went on a trip without asking my flatmate to water it.
You get my point: I am, unfortunately, not in a situation where I have access to food-growing facilities. Imagine, therefore, my excitement when my friend showed up with 2 kilos of rhubarb that he got from his parents’ garden. I didn’t even know rhubarb was in season just now, I’m that ignorant of growing my own food.
Rhubarb is pretty brilliant, but I’d never used it before so I had to give it a few shots before I got to know it. One of the things I tried were these rhubarb tartlets and they were delicious. You only need a tiny amount of rhubarb for these, so I still had enough left to make a rhubarb crumble the next night and there’s another kilo or so in the freezer, which I will make into a rhubarb Eve’s pudding.
For 3 tartlets you will need:
- about half a slab of puff pastry – that’s 3 sheets if you’re using those, or a weight of 250gr
- 1 stalk of rhubarb – a sizeable one, or otherwise two little ones
- 3 – 4 generous scoops of crème fraîche
- 3 tsp of demerara sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Divide the puff pastry in 3 equal portions and roll them out on a lightly floured surface. Use a bowl or saucer to cut circles out of them, then use the left-over pastry to make a wee edge around the side of the pastry circle, attaching it to the base with a bit of beaten egg like so:
Now slice up the rhubarb in thin slices, preferably at an angle to save you work later. Mix the crème fraîche with the sugar, then divide the mixture over the tarts-to-be. Now cover the cream with the rhubarb. You can pile it all on top and make it look ‘rustic’ (or plain messy) or you can invest the extra few minutes to lay them out in a nice pattern. Doesn’t matter, either way it’ll be tasty.
Sprinkle with a bunch of icing sugar, then pop them in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Leave the to cool for a wee bit, then serve with a bunch of coffee.