Well this spring has gone by VERY quickly—I can’t believe it’s been 3 weeks since my last post already! There’s been a constant whoosh of activity over here; my cookbook, First We Eat, officially hit the shelves on March 20th which was super exciting!! I had a little cookbook release feast on March 31st at Tendue here in Portland, and my friends Mona + Jaret from Tournant prepared amazing dishes from the book, and my friend Gwen made an incredible floral arch with the book’s title on it which was so beautiful and incredibly sweet of her.
And in other crazy news…Jeremy and I bought 29 acres of property in the Columbia river gorge last month. I’ll tell you the whole story another day, but it took about 6 weeks for the bank to finally approve the loan, and I was SO relieved when it came through last month and we were able to sign all the paperwork and get the site for our homestead secured! For now we’ll build a little a-frame cabin out there, and then save up to pay off the property loan, then get a construction loan, and build the homestead in about 4 or 5 years time. It’s going to be a wonderful adventure and I can’t wait to dive into getting the land back into shape with lots of native trees and shrubs and plants 🙂
So, today’s recipe! I’m sharing a little vegan rhubarb almond tart with you guys, plus a video tutorial on how to braid the rhubarb! The filling for this tart is like a vegan custard, made from nuts and vanilla and delicious spices, all topped with some seasonal rhubarb goodness. It’s got a soft silky filling, tasty crumbly crust, and everything you could want from a spring tart in terms of flavor + texture. Hope you all enjoy it, and feel free to use this braided rhubarb technique to top all sorts of other desserts, too!
Vegan Braided Rhubarb Almond Tart
Yield 1 9-inch tart
This recipe combines the nutty warmth of almonds with the tangy brightness of spring's first rhubarb stalks. The rhubarb is ribboned with a box grater, blanched, and then braided to create the beautiful pattern on top, and you can watch a video detailing the steps of this process in the post above!
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon flake kosher sea salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, cool enough to be solid
- 2 teaspoons almond butter
- 1/3 cup ice water
Almond + Cashew 'Custard' Filling
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for 4 to 6 hours
- 3/4 cup slivered almonds, soaked in water for 4 to 6 hours
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 1 teaspoon flake sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup oat milk
- 3 tablespoons hot water
- 1 tablespoon flax seeds
Braided Rhubarb Ribbons
- 5 ounces rhubarb stalks, trimmed to be the same length
- 1 tablespoon warm water
- 1 tablespoon honey
375 for 40 min
- In a blender or food processor, pulse together the flour, salt, and sugar a couple times to combine them.
- Add the coconut oil and almond butter and pulse together until the mixture looks crumbly and holds together when you grab a handful of it and squeeze it.
- Add the water and pulse until combined, adding a tablespoon or two more ice water if needed (if the dough doesn't hold together when you squeeze it in your hand, that's when you need a tad more water)
- Transfer the dough onto a clean smooth surface and roll it out into a 1/4-inch thick circle. Transfer the circle onto a 9-inch tart pan and then press it into the pan to fit it snug. Trim off any excess dough that hangs over the outside edge of the tart pan.
- Use a fork to prick the tart all over, then cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
Almond Cashew 'Custard' Filling
- Strain the cashews and almonds and place them in a blender along with the sugar, almond butter, salt, and vanilla extract. Remove the center cap of the blender lid so that there is a small hole. Turn the blender on medium low speed and add the oat milk in one steady stream as it blends, pausing and stopping the blender as needed to scrape down the inside walls. Blend until everything is completely smooth.
- In a small bowl, stir together the hot water and flax seeds and allow to rest for 10 minutes. The water should become slightly gelatinous at that point, and go ahead and stir the flax water mixture into the cashew mixture until combined. Set aside.
Braided Rhubarb Ribbons
- Set a box grater on its side and very carefully push the rhubarb stalk through the long slit on the top of the grater to cut a very long thin slice of rhubarb, about 1/8-inch thick. Repeat with all the stalks. (See the video for this process in action).
- Bring a large pot of water to a slow boil. Add the rhubarb ribbons and stir. Cook for only 2 minutes, then strain them and immediately rinse them with cold water until the ribbons are cool to the touch. (If you don't do this the ribbons will continue cooking and become mushy and very difficult to braid.)
- Take three of the ribbons and braid them on a clean flat surface. Repeat until you have braided all the rhubarb ribbons.
- For the honey syrup, stir together the honey and water in a mug with a fork until the honey has dissolved. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Fill the tart crust with the custard mixture, leaving about 1/2-inch of space between the top of the custard and the top of the crust. Transfer each of the braided rhubarb ribbons to the top of the custard, arranging in your desired pattern (spiral, etc).
- Place the pan in the oven and bake until the crust turns lightly golden, about 45 minutes. Remove and allow to cool for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
- While cooling, brush the braided rhubarb on top lightly with the honey syrup.