Rhubarb Frangipane Slab Pie


 
Rhubarb Frangipane Slab Pie - Flaky tender pie crust, sweet nutty frangipane, and vanilla infused roasted rhubarb. Perfect Spring or Early Summer Pie
Rhubarb Frangipane Slab Pie - Flaky tender pie crust, sweet nutty frangipane, and vanilla infused roasted rhubarb. Perfect Spring or Early Summer Pie
Rhubarb Frangipane Slab Pie - Flaky tender pie crust, sweet nutty frangipane, and vanilla infused roasted rhubarb. Perfect Spring or Early Summer Pie
Rhubarb Frangipane Slab Pie - Flaky tender pie crust, sweet nutty frangipane, and vanilla infused roasted rhubarb. Perfect Spring or Early Summer Pie
Rhubarb Frangipane Slab Pie - Flaky tender pie crust, sweet nutty frangipane, and vanilla infused roasted rhubarb. Perfect Spring or Early Summer Pie
Rhubarb Frangipane Slab Pie - Flaky tender pie crust, sweet nutty frangipane, and vanilla infused roasted rhubarb. Perfect Spring or Early Summer Pie
Rhubarb Frangipane Slab Pie - Flaky tender pie crust, sweet nutty frangipane, and vanilla infused roasted rhubarb. Perfect Spring or Early Summer Pie
Rhubarb Frangipane Slab Pie - Flaky tender pie crust, sweet nutty frangipane, and vanilla infused roasted rhubarb. Perfect Spring or Early Summer Pie
Rhubarb Frangipane Slab Pie - Flaky tender pie crust, sweet nutty frangipane, and vanilla infused roasted rhubarb. Perfect Spring or Early Summer Pie
Rhubarb Frangipane Slab Pie - Flaky tender pie crust, sweet nutty frangipane, and vanilla infused roasted rhubarb. Perfect Spring or Early Summer Pie
Rhubarb Frangipane Slab Pie - Flaky tender pie crust, sweet nutty frangipane, and vanilla infused roasted rhubarb. Perfect Spring or Early Summer Pie

Hi there. I'm so sorry I've been a little slack getting recipes up here for you. Our gas to our building has now been out for 3 weeks, and for someone like me, this is the biggest pain in the ass. I'm just wondering how long before I can ask our landlord to buy us an electric oven - because this is starting to get ridiculous. Coupled with a cheeky Kidney infection I managed to get (I've been prone to them since I was a baby, would not recommend!), things have been a little quiet. 

I have however been managing to get by - my little countertop convection oven has saved my butt big time - it can fit 3 six inch cake tins, a pie tin, and a 9"x13" baking tin, (not all at once), so as long as things are able to be made in vessels of those dimensions, we are set. 

Seeing as we are right in the thick of rhubarb season I figured it was only fair that I dropped another rhubarb recipe into the mix with this Rhubarb Frangipane Slab Pie. I had big plans to use one of Julie's recipes as the base for this tart, as I have been dying to try her method for the longest time, but got intimidated by braiding short crust pastry, so stuck to pie dough, which I am much more comfortable with. However I did discover that baking a slab pie in a removable bottom tart tin is a game changer - so, so easy to pop out, and the fluted edges make it super easy to trim the pie dough flush with the edges. Slab pies are my new fave - they are easy to make, and perfect for a crowd. Expect to see a lot more of them around here. 

I went with my usual pie dough recipe, sweetening it up just a touch, then filled the bottom with a frangipane - a sweet paste made with ground almonds, egg, sugar and butter. The frangipane was then topped with some rhubarb, which I had previously roasted to help remove some of the moisture and add a little sweetness to. I then topped the whole thing off with a decorative lattice crust, and it was baked off. Each element complimented the other perfectly - the flaky pie crust, the nutty sweet frangipane, and the tart rhubarb. It's definitely going to be made around here again before rhubarb season is up. 

A few wee tips:

  • I made this in a tart pan with a removable bottom, but you could make it in a jelly roll pan or quarter sheet pan too.

  • The pie dough is best if you can give it an overnight rest before using.

  • The Rhubarb can be roasted ahead, and the frangipane can be made ahead of time if needed, too.

  • I used pie stamps to make the shapes on the top of this - they are from Williams Sonoma and Amazon. They are my fave things - they make the pie look so fancy with little effort, and are great for using up scraps.

  • When I roll out pastry for stamping, I like to pop it in the freezer for about 5 minutes to allow it to firm up slightly, so I can cut out a nice sharp stamp shape.

 

 

Rhubarb Frangipane Slab pie

- Makes one 11" x 8" slab pie -

Frangipane adapted from The Brick Kitchen 

Pie Dough
3 3/4 cups (470g) Flour
Pinch of Salt
3 tsp (8g) sugar
3 sticks (340g) cold butter, cut into cubes
1 cup (240ml) cold water
1 cup ice
1/4 cup (60ml) Apple cider vinegar

Roasted Rhubarb
900g Rhubarb, trimmed and chopped into 10cm pieces
1 Vanilla bean, or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
200g (1 cup) sugar
1/2 cup water
pinch salt

Frangipane Filling
140g unsalted butter, at room temperature
160g sugar (3/4 cup)
200g almond meal / almond flour
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
pinch salt

Egg wash - 1 egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water
Raw / Turbinado Sugar for Sprinkling
 

 

- PROCESS -

PIE DOUGH

Place flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Cut butter into chunks, and add to the flour. Toss lightly to coat. Working quickly, using a pastry blender or  your fingers,  cut the butter into the flour mixture until there are only pea-sized chunks left. You want a few lumps of butter remaining to keep the pastry nice and tender.

Combine ice, water and cider vinegar in a bowl. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of the ice water into the flour and butter mixture, and using a stiff spatula or your hands, mix in well. Continue adding water a tablespoon at a time ( I normally need about 10-12 tbsp) until you have a dough that holds together well, but is not too wet. Squeeze together with your fingertips to make a homogenous dough. Shape into two rectangles, one slightly larger than the other, and wrap in plastic wrap. Rest in the fridge for at least two hours, or preferably overnight. 

 

ROASTED RHUBARB

Preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Arrange the rhubarb in a 9" x 13 baking sheet. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise using a sharp knife, and nestle in the rhubarb. Combine the sugar, water and salt in a small bowl until the sugar has dissolved, and pour over the rhubarb. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the rhubarb is just tender. Remove from the oven and cool. Remove the rhubarb from the syrup, and place on a paper towel to drain. Reserve the syrup - it is perfect for cocktails or soda! 

 

FRANGIPANE FILLING

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar until just combined. Add the almond meal, egg, vanilla, and salt, and mix until incorporated. Set aside until required. 

 

ASSEMBLY AND BAKING

Roll out the smaller rectangle of dough until it is approximately 1/8" (3mm) in thickness. Line an 11" x 8" removable bottom tart tin with the dough, trimming any overhang flush with the edge of the tin. Keep any scraps and re-roll to use for decoration - I usually use these pieces for pastry stamps

Using an offset spatula, spread the frangipane evenly in the bottom of the lined pie tin. Top with the roasted rhubarb, pressing down gently on the pieces. 

Roll out the second rectangle of dough, and cut strips to be used for a lattice. Lattice however you like - for this one I did a range of different width strips, cut with both a straight cutter and a fluted cutter, and incorporated some braids into the lattice too. Keep any scraps to use for stamping if desired. 

Place the finished pie in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. While the pie is resting, preheat the oven to 425˚f/ 220˚c. Place a baking tray on the bottom rack of the oven. 

Brush the pie with egg wash, and sprinkle liberally with raw sugar. Bake at 425˚f / 220˚c for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to go golden. Reduce the temperature 375˚f / 190˚c, and bake until the pastry is deeply golden and the filling is bubbling. 

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Rhubarb Frangipane Slab Pie - Flaky tender pie crust, sweet nutty frangipane, and vanilla infused roasted rhubarb. Perfect Spring or Early Summer Pie

Roasted rhubarb brioche doughnuts


 
Brioche doughnuts, roasted rhubarb, vanilla bean pastry cream, and vanilla sugar
Brioche doughnuts, roasted rhubarb, vanilla bean pastry cream, and vanilla sugar
Brioche doughnuts, roasted rhubarb, vanilla bean pastry cream, and vanilla sugar
Brioche doughnuts, roasted rhubarb, vanilla bean pastry cream, and vanilla sugar
Brioche doughnuts, roasted rhubarb, vanilla bean pastry cream, and vanilla sugar
Brioche doughnuts, roasted rhubarb, vanilla bean pastry cream, and vanilla sugar
Brioche doughnuts, roasted rhubarb, vanilla bean pastry cream, and vanilla sugar
Brioche doughnuts, roasted rhubarb, vanilla bean pastry cream, and vanilla sugar
Brioche doughnuts, roasted rhubarb, vanilla bean pastry cream, and vanilla sugar
Brioche doughnuts, roasted rhubarb, vanilla bean pastry cream, and vanilla sugar

This week has been ridiculous. We are currently exhibiting at design week, which all kicks off tonight. Yesterday was a 12 hour install, which is always exhausting. Usually we are pretty quick at those, but yesterday's dragged out - nothing really went wrong, it just all took forever. Thankfully we are done with that now, and can concentrate on design week fun! 

Let's just take a moment to talk about doughnuts though. As much as I love cake, I think I quite possibly love doughnuts more. There is something about a perfectly fried dough, either glazed with an interesting flavour or stuffed with some sort of exciting filling that really gets me going. The contrast of the sweet filling or glaze against an enriched fluffy dough is the best. And I love how versatile they are - you can make an entire batch, and finish them off in as many ways as you would like. 

Rhubarb season has just started here in NYC, and I almost feel a bit panicked to put it in as many things as I possibly can before it disappears from the greenmarket again. It grows year-round in New Zealand so I am used to having constant access to it, so this limited time period thing is kind of balls. I'm definitely going to make the most of it though - there are a few rhubarb recipes coming your way in the next few weeks so that you can make the most of it too! Including these doughnuts. 

These doughnuts are really something else. A fluffy brioche dough, a vanilla bean pastry cream, roasted rhubarb, and then finished off with a vanilla sugar. The combination of flavours compliments each other perfectly. The sharp tart flavour of the rhubarb stands up to the sweet custardy pastry cream, and the vanilla sugar highlights the vanilla paste that is tossed with the rhubarb and stirred through the pastry cream. It seems like a lot of elements, but each one has a well-deserved place. Rhubarb and custard are one of my favourite flavour combinations - I could have eaten all of these in one go, so had to take the rest to Jill's to get them out of my sight.

Rhubarb is notoriously sour, so I roasted it with a little vanilla bean and sugar to help take the edge off. It also makes it the most beautiful colour, and any leftover is perfect stirred through yoghurt, eaten with granola, or just straight up spooned into your mouth. 

A few wee notes:

  • The pastry cream is best made the day before or at least a few hours before you begin to make the doughnuts, so that it has time to cool completely.

  • Rhubarb can be roasted while the doughnuts are proofing - just make sure that it is cool before you fill the doughnuts with it

  • I made these using a stand mixer - you can most definitely do it by hand, but it will take a serious amount of elbow grease, and you will need to ensure that the butter is extremely well incorporated when you add it in.

  • The vanilla sugar ideally needs a little time to dry out, so make it just after you put the brioche dough on.

  • A thermometer will be your friend when you are frying dough. I love this one - it has an alarm on it which makes it super easy to use.

  • Most of the recipe is in grams. Ounces don't tend to be specific enough for pastry recipes. A kitchen scale is an excellent investment.

  • I love using vanilla paste in my recipes - My favourite is this brand (I buy it by the litre), but the seeds of a vanilla bean will work just as well.

  • Ensure that you do not over proof the doughnuts once they are cut out. The sign of a well proved doughnut is a small ring of pale dough around the middle of the doughnut.

 

 

Roasted rhubarb brioche doughnuts
- Makes approx 12 doughnuts -

Doughnut dough from little and Friday, Pastry cream adapted from Bouchon bakery

Vanilla bean pastry cream
132g egg yolks (about 8 yolks)
110g sugar
35g corn starch
1 Tbsp vanilla paste, or the scrapings from one vanilla bean
550g whole milk
27g unsalted butter, at room temperature

Vanilla sugar
1 1/2 cups (250g) sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste

Roasted rhubarb
500g rhubarb, washed, trimmed, and sliced into 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
2 tsp vanilla paste

Brioche doughnut dough
180ml (3/4 cup) whole milk, lukewarm
1/4 cup (50g) sugar
2 1/4 tsp active yeast
3 cups (430g) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg and 2 egg yolks
100g (7 Tbsp) unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature
Flavourless oil for frying (approx 4-6 cups)

- PROCESS -

PASTRY CREAM

In a large bowl, whisk together the yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl. 

In a medium pot, warm the milk and vanilla paste until there is movement just around the edges of the milk - do not bring it to the boil. 

Remove the milk from the heat, and, whisking constantly, add half of the milk mixture into the egg and cornflour mixture to temper the egg yolks. Whisk briskly for 30 seconds. Transfer the milk-yolk mixture back to the pot, and return to a medium heat. Whisk constantly until very thick. 

Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, mixing well until totally combined. Allow to stand for 5-10 minutes, whisking occasionally. 

Strain the pastry cream through a mesh sieve, and into a bowl. Cool to room temperature then place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the pastry cream to prevent a skin. Place in the fridge until completely cooled.

VANILLA SUGAR

In a small bowl, rub the vanilla bean paste into the sugar using your finger tips. Spread out on a plate to dry at room temp. When you are ready to use, break up using your fingers. Pass through a mesh sieve if required to remove any lumps.

ROASTED RHUBARB

Preheat oven to 180˚c / 350˚f. Toss together the rhubarb, vanilla paste and sugar in a bowl. Transfer to a baking tray and roast for 15-20 minutes, until the rhubarb is soft and syrupy. Allow to cool slightly then either transfer to a blender or food processor and puree, or mash well with a potato masher. Allow to cool completely.

DOUGHNUTS

In a small bowl, combine the lukewarm milk, yeast, and 1 Tbsp of the sugar. Stir to combine, and leave for 5 minutes until foamy.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, remaining sugar, and salt. Mix on low using the dough hook.

Add the yeast and eggs to the dry ingredients, and mix on low until the dough forms a sticky ball. Increase the speed of the mixer and knead for another 5 minutes, stopping occasionally to clear the dough hook of dough. 

With the mixer on medium, add the butter a cube at a time, waiting until it is fully incorporated before adding the next piece. This process should take 12-15 minutes. Once the butter is fully incorporated, knead for a further two minutes, until the dough is soft and elastic, and passes the "window pane" test. This is where the dough will stretch and become transparent when stretched out. If it breaks, continue to knead until it reaches this stage. 

Cover the bowl with a wet kitchen towel, and allow to prove until doubled in size, 45-90 minutes depending on the conditions in your kitchen. 

Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. Roll into a circle that is about 2.5cm thick (1 inch). Leave to sit for 5 minutes to allow the dough to relax.

Cut out circle shapes using a cookie cutter approximately 2.5 inches (6cm) in diameter. Place the cut doughnuts on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Leave the doughnuts to proof for a further 20 minutes. When you poke them lightly with your finger, it should leave a small indentation that springs back. 

While the doughnuts are proofing, heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot (cast iron works great). Heat the oil to 175-180˚c / 340-350˚f. 

Once the oil has come to temperature, test it with a few scraps of dough. Gently lower the doughnuts, two at a time, into the hot oil. Cook for 1 1/2 - 2 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove from the oil using a slotted spoon and place on a cooling rack. Allow to cool for 30 seconds before tossing in the vanilla sugar. Repeat the process with the rest of the doughnuts. Once the doughnuts are cool, poke a hole in them using a chopstick, and widen the hole using your finger.

ASSEMBLY

Fill a piping bag fitted with a medium-sized round tip with the pastry cream. Fill a second bag with the rhubarb puree. Carefully fill the cavity of the doughnut halfway with rhubarb puree, then follow with the pastry cream, as full as the doughnut will allow you - you can usually feel when they are full. When you pull away the piping bag, a little of the pastry cream should ooze out. Top each with a small blob of the rhubarb. 

Serve immediately. Best eaten on the day that they are made.

Brioche doughnuts, roasted rhubarb, vanilla bean pastry cream, and vanilla sugar