I have just come back from a rather wonderful holiday in Ibiza (apologies to those of you who remain subjected to the British ‘summer’). The weather was glorious and the music banging but the surprise highlight was the excellent food – lively and fresh, it showcased the island’s best produce and culinary imagination with flair. For anyone planning a trip to la Isla Blanca, I would highly recommend dining at La Oliva restaurant. Set in the heart of the old town, it surpassed expectations – I had beautiful fresh anchovies to start and a phenomenal steak tartare to follow; others raved about the tuna sashimi and the grilled squids with black rice.
On our final day, we enjoyed lunch at Soleado restaurant on Figueretas beach. It looks pretty average but don’t be fooled by the facade – the food is superb and darn good value. My dessert of vanilla ice cream topped with caramelised almonds, generously bathed in amaretto, has reignited my love for this smooth nutty liqueur. So much so that I picked up a (very large) bottle of Disaronno from duty-free…
When I got home I bought some British rhubarb and the rest, they say, is history! Tart rhubarb on a bed of soft sweet amaretto cream, topped with caramelised sugar and crunchy almonds. It really is one of the best things I’ve ever made on a whim. Move over crumble, rhubarb and almond tarts are where it’s at!
Serve with vanilla ice cream for a delicious seasonal dessert!
Rhubarb, almond & amaretto tarts
Makes 4 individual tarts
– 200g ready-made puff pastry
– 40g soft brown sugar
– 2 tablespoons runny honey
– 4 tablespoons (half fat) creme fraiche
– 2 tablespoons amaretto
– 40g ground almonds
– 3-4 stalks rhubarb
– flaked almonds, to decorate
Preheat your oven to 200°C.
Roll out the puff pastry into a rectangle about 1/2 cm thick and cut into four tarts. Place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. To make the crust, score a border 1/2 – 1cm in from the edge of each tart (only partly cutting through your pastry) with a sharp knife. Prick the central squares with a fork (this will stop them rising).
Blind bake the pastry for about 5 minutes to minimise the risk of a soggy bottom.
In a small saucepan on a low heat, heat the honey and 1/2 the sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside.
In a bowl, mix together the creme fraiche, amaretto, ground almonds and the rest of the sugar. Spread onto the tarts, right up to (but excluding) the borders.
Trim the rhubarb stalks to the length of the tarts and arrange on top of the almond mixture. Brush generously with the sugar and honey glaze. Tip: If the rhubarb stalks are very thick, halve the stalks lengthways too to make sure they cook through.
Bake for another 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the rhubarb is beginning to caramelise.
Scatter the flaked almonds on top and serve immediately (with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!).
Source: Recipe and photos by pip & little blue.