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Rhubarb Cardamom Custard Pie | Relishing It

The last official day of school has arrived for my little ones, and I’m emotionally all over the place.  My first thought is that I cannot believe another year has slipped through my hands.  The daily hustle-and-bustle clouds how much time is passing, and suddenly the school year is over.  Aanen will be a second grader, while Aria will be a full-time kindergartender– no more half days with my little girl at home.  Ugh…  My second thought is a little less melancholy and a lot more pressing.  What on earth am I going to do to entertain these children all summer long?!  I have a few ideas circling in my head– and I’m sure we’ll have a wonderful time– but still the concern is there.  Swimming, biking, basketball, reading, exploring, and more kid-assisted baking, I’m sure.

Rhubarb Cardamom Custard Pie | Relishing It

Rhubarb Cardamom Custard Pie | Relishing It

Speaking of baking (how’s that for a transition?) the weather has been a bit cooler, so I made this pie especially for my hubby (you all remember his favorite Sour Cream Apple Pie, right?)  This pie is a variation of that masterpiece.  And though I made the pie for him, I did my fair share of helping him eat it.  I’m usually fairly disciplined when it comes to baked goods and I try not to over-indulge.  Apparently this pie was the breaking point and soon I was eating pie for breakfast, followed up with pie for a snack.  I’ll be sure to not make it again for a long time, as apparently I can’t say no to it.

Rhubarb Cardamom Custard Pie | Relishing It

Cardamom and rhubarb is one of my favorite fruit-and-spice combinations.  If you haven’t tried it, do so.  Add more cardamom for a stronger flavor, if you prefer.  I wanted it to be ever-so-subtle, as I really relish the pure taste of rhubarb and I didn’t want that to be lost.  One important factor is to serve the pie cold from the refrigerator.  It’s just so much better that way.  The crust holds up beautifully and still remains flakey and crisp.  It will last for days when covered lightly with plastic wrap.  Enjoy the heck out of this one, friends.

Rhubarb Cardamom Custard Pie | Relishing It

Rhubarb Cardamom Custard Pie | Relishing It

The Recipe: Rhubarb Cardamom Custard Pie

Use 1/2 of this All Butter Pie Crust recipe

For the Rhubarb Cardamom Custard Filling:

1 cup full-fat sour cream

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 egg

3 cardamom pods– seeds finely ground using a mortar and pestle (outer shells discarded) or 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

2 cups chopped rhubarb,  cut into about 1/4-inch thick pieces

For the Crumble:

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed

Follow the recipe and instructions  from this recipe to prepare the pie dough.  You will only use 1/2 of the amount.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

To Make the Crumble Topping:  In a small bowl, stir the dry ingredients together with a  fork.  Then, using that fork, cut the butter into the mixture until it’s crumbly and everything is incorporated into the butter.  Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

To Make the Rhubarb Cardamom Custard Filling:  Beat together the first 6 ingredients in a medium-sized bowl until smooth.  Then stir in the rhubarb.  Set aside.

Shape the pie dough into a 9-inch pie plate.  Pour the rhubarb cardamom custard filling into the pie.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Then reduce heat to 350°F  and bake for another 30 minutes.  Remove pie from oven and add the crumble mixture evenly to the top of the pie.  Return to oven and increase the heat to 400°F and bake for 10 more minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool completely on a cooling rack.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.  This pie is best served cold and will keep for days.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

 

 

 

 

 

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I hope you had a lovely weekend.  Mine was fantastic, despite– or perhaps because of– the rain here in Minnesota.  I love rainy days, and we certainly needed it here in the Midwest.  Everything is finally greening up after our nearly snow-less winter.  With an eye towards the forecast, I got the family up early to head to the farmers’ market before the downpour.  It was magnificent.  I’ll try to take photographs next time to share with you.  There were pops of color everywhere!  I was able to track down our usual early spring stores– spinach, scallions, pea shoots, asparagus, eggs, radishes, and more rhubarb.

Yes, I know I wrote about rhubarb last week in this coffee cake recipe, but if you’re ready for another go, this week I’m offering up a phenomenal tart with rhubarb and cardamom.  I ate almost the entire thing the day I made it.  It’s that good.  I spotted this tart years ago on Helene’s beautiful blog, Tartlette.  Rhubarb with cardamom is one of those brilliant combinations that you really must try.  The cardamom is very subtle– a little goes a long way– but it really seems to enhance the tart flavors of the rhubarb.

I wanted to make a relatively fuss-free crust for this tart– one that doesn’t have to be rolled out, but rather just gently patted into a pan.  This one turned out perfectly.  I blind baked the crust to ensure that it was nice and firm, since there’s nothing worse than having a fabulous filling ruined by a soggy crust.  As for that filling, this one is a divine creamy custard.  It’s just a few simple ingredients, but the creme fraiche makes it spectacular.  (Honestly, I think creme fraiche makes everything spectactular).  Like a little kid, I couldn’t stop licking the spatula!  With this recipe, you will probably have leftover custard, so pour it into baking cups and bake it along-side the tart.  They’ll be little bonus desserts.  Enjoy!

The Recipe: Rhubarb and Cardamom Tart

(Makes one 9-or-10-inch round tart or a 14-x-5-inch rectangle tart)

For poaching the Rhubarb:

5 stalks rhubarb, chopped (1 1/2 cups)

squeeze of lemon juice

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon honey

For the Custard Filling:

3 eggs, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup creme fraiche (full-fat sour cream would work, too)

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

sprinkle of salt

For the Crust:

1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

sprinkle of salt

4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 6-8 pieces

1 egg, beaten

To poach the rhubarb: In a small saucepan, bring the 1/2 cup of water, honey, and squeeze of lemon to a boil.  Place the chopped rhubarb in the water and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove rhubarb from water and set aside.  This can be done a day in advance — just place in a covered bowl in the refrigerator.  The water from the rhubarb is full of flavor — save it if you like and be creative with it!  Cook it down to form a syrup or mix it with a cocktail.

Meanwhile, prepare the tart crust.  Preheat an oven to 350°F.  In a large glass bowl, add the flour, sugar, cardamom, and salt.  Whisk them together to combine.  Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in the  butter, until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Do not let the mixture become pasty.  Stir the beaten egg into the flour mixture.  The dough should look dry and crumbly.

Press the dough evenly and gently into a buttered tart pan, using floured fingertips.  Place a piece of lightly butter parchment paper over the tart and fill with baking weights or dried beans (I use the same beans over and over).  Blind bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until the tart is golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool.

To make the custard filling:  In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the eggs, sugar, cardamom, and sprinkle of salt.  Mix for  a couple of minutes until it is pale and airy.  Add the creme fraiche and mix until well combined.

To assemble the tart:  Distribute the poached rhubarb into the prepared tart crust.  Pour the custard filling over the rhubarb — being careful to not overfill it.  You will have leftover custard filling.  If you like, butter about 4 small ramekins and fill them with the custard.  Bake along side the tart for a bonus treat.  Place the tart on a baking sheet and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until it is a beautiful golden brown.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely.  Serve with whipped cream, if desired.  Enjoy!

Source:  Custard filling adapted from Tartlette.  Crust adapted from How to Bake

Thanks for stopping in today!
Laurie

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This summer my son, Aanen, declared that peaches are his favorite fruit.  Given the quality of the organic peaches from our co-op this year, he may be right– they’ve been perfectly ripe, juicy, and delicious.  We’ve eaten so many in the last month– and not just for snacks.   Turns out they’re perfect for baking (surprise!) as well.

I’ve made this cake twice in the last couple of weeks– and if the judgment of my family and neighbors is any measure– it’s fantastic.  More than one person has mentioined that it’s one of the best cakes I’ve made.  I agree, and it’s all about the peaches.  This cake is adapted from a fellow Minnesota Food Blogger and friend, Zoe Francois.  I’ve mentioned her before, though you may know Zoe from her well-known cookbook Artisan Bread In Five Minute A Day.  She is an top-notch pastry chef who always has wonderful ideas on her blog, Zoe Bakes.

A few words about what makes this cake stand out.  First, the sauce is unforgettable.  The peaches, butter, and brown sugar meld together to create an amazing flavor.  The addition of three tablespoons of whiskey adds additional complexity.  Both times I’ve made it I’ve wanted to keep licking the spoon.  Second, the flavors of the sauce combine with the caramel-like addition of browned butter in the cake.  I’ve found that the toasty, nutty, carmel flavors of the browned butter make most any dish better.  Here, it really acts as the framework– a subtle backdrop that accentuates the the peach, brown sugar, and whisky perfectly.  Finally, I decided to toast and add millet, a whole grain, for a little bit of texture.  As with most any grain, the toasting adds additional ‘toasty’ flavors.  Here, it also provides a nice little crunch that makes this cake unique.  If you don’t have access to millet, don’t worry.  It’s not a necessity.

The Recipe:  Upside-Down Peach and Cardamom Cake

Peaches:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

pinch of kosher salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

3 tablespoons whiskey (substitute orange juice, if you don’t cook with alcohol)

1 pound peaches (about 2 1/2 large) Cut into slices, peelings can be left on.  (Firm peaches will work well here, as they won’t break down as much)

Cake:

4 ounces (8 tablespoons unsalted butter)

1 cup  (5 ounces) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs at room temperature  (To do this quickly:  place eggs in a dish of warm water for roughly 10 minutes)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup buttermilk  (To make your own: mix 1 teaspoon white vinegar into 1/3 cup milk — let sit for 10 minutes)

1/3 Millet, toasted

To toast the Millet:  Place millet into a small frying pan over medium heat, toast until golden and fragrant.  Being careful not to burn.  Remove from heat and set aside.

To brown the butter for the cake:  Place butter into a small saucepan over low heat.   Cook the butter until it is a beautiful caramel color and smells toasted, making sure to stir all the while. Being careful not to burn.  There will be dark brown bits in the pan.  Remove from heat and strain.  Set aside to cool slightly.

To make the peaches: In a large skillet cook together the butter, brown sugar, salt, cardamom, vanilla, whiskey, and peaches.  Cook them on low heat until the juice is as thick as maple syrup.  I ended up removing the peaches so they didn’t fall apart and cooked the juices down a bit more.

Place the peaches and juice into a 8-inch round or square cake pan. (And if you’re a little bit neurotic like myself, you can make a pattern with the peaches while carefully trying not to burn your fingertips.) I also made it in a 9-inch cake pan and it turned out fine, if that’s all you have.  The cake will not be as thick, but still delicious.  (Note: Both times I made the cake, I didn’t butter the pan and it came out easily, but if you’re hesitant — feel free to butter away!)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

To make the cake batter:   In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, and salt. Set aside.   Using a paddle attachment, on an electric mixer  (a hand mixer will also work), beat together the browned butter that has cooled a bit, brown sugar, and vanilla.  Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl after each one.    Alternate adding the flour mixture with the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour mixture.   Finally, fold in the toasted millet with a spatula.

Place the batter evenly over the peaches and spread it out smoothly.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the cake is set and a tester comes out clean.  Let sit until the pan is cool enough to handle and invert onto a serving platter.  I prefer to let the cake cool completely before serving.  This cake begs to be served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream along side of it.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Zoe Francois at Zoe Bakes

As always, thanks for stopping by Relishing It today.  This little blog has become  such an amazing place for me to connect with new friends and still keep in touch with old ones.  I am so happy to share it with all of you.

Laurie

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