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These mini strawberry rhubarb tarts are my new fav: a buttery, flaky crust paired with sweet strawberries and tart rhubarb, and topped off with Italian meringue. It really doesn't get any better than this.
Y'all know me- my favorite way to love others is to bake for them! These mini strawberry rhubarb tarts are DEFINITELY the way to go if you're trying to show love. There's nothing that says "I love you" quite like the most delicious bite they've ever had.
If you've never had the strawberry rhubarb combo before, you NEED to make these. Strawberries are pretty good on their own. Rhubarb, well, needs a lot of sugar. But put the 2 together? They are a match made in heaven.
Italian meringue is a little challenging, so you can definitely make regular meringue if you're intimidated. However, if you're up for it, give the Italian meringue a shot! It firms up so well, and is more stable than regular meringue. It's extra pillowy and delicious, so you definitely won't regret it.
Whip them up, then let me know what you think!
The Crust: This is the flakiest, butteriest, deliciousest (new word alert!) thing you've ever eaten, and it pairs perfectly with all the other elements of this dessert.
The Filling: Strawberries and rhubarb are a match made in heaven. Seriously- I like strawberries. I like rhubarb. But the 2 together make this entirely other-worldly flavor that with the buttery crust and fluffy meringue is the boooooomb. Unless you're in the midwest, you may have trouble finding fresh rhubarb at the grocery store. No worries, though! Hop on over to the frozen aisle and grab a frozen bag! It works just as well and is so easy.
The Meringue: Baking fun fact- there are 3 types of meringue: Swiss, Italian, and French.
- French Meringue: You're probably most common with this type of meringue! You whip soft peaks from the egg whites, then add the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. It's super fluffy, but not super stable. These are usually used to bake meringues, or folded into batters (such as lady fingers) to be baked.
- Swiss Meringue: This type of meringue is made by heating the sugar and egg whites together on a double boiler, then whipping to stiff peaks. It doesn't fluff up as much as the other types, but has a super silky smooth texture. It's usually used for buttercream frostings.
- Italian Meringue: This is the most stable of all meringues. It's made by heating the sugar on the stovetop until 240 degrees, then whipping the heated sugar into the whipped egg whites after soft peaks have formed. It's usually used to top pies, frost cakes, or lighten up ice creams or sorbets.
Because of the stability of Italian meringue, it is the perfect topping for these tartlets. So you'll see the instructions to make the meringue below! If you're not feeling adventurous (or you don't have a candy thermometer), opt for a regular french meringue! It'll still taste delicious. You can find a French meringue recipe here. If you don't have a candy thermometer but still want to go for the Italian meringue, check out this link which details how to identify how hot your sugar is without a candy thermometer.
Storage: These sweet babies will last in at room temperature for up to 6 hours. If storing for more than 6 areas, put in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
If unable to store in an airtight container, put toothpicks in the top of the meringue, then lightly drape plastic wrap over it, trying to not let the plastic wrap touch the meringue. This will help to avoid the classic meringue "weeping" when in the refrigerator.
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Mini Strawberry Rhubarb Tarts
- 1 stick unsalted butter straight from the fridge
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- 1 egg yolk straight from the fridge
- 4-8 tablespoon ice cold water
- 2 cups rhubarb chopped
- 2 cups strawberries quartered
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoon corn starch
- 5 egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup water
- Preheat the oven to 375.
Make the Crust
- Combine the flour, sugar, and salt.
- Cut the butter into small cubes, then add to the flour mixture and toss to coat. Using your fingers, "snap" in the butter so the cubes break apart and become long and thin.
- In a small bowl, combine the egg yolk with 4 tablespoon water.
- Add the egg yolk mixture into the flour mixture, and toss to coat. Add additional water as needed, until the dough is fully hydrated. You'll be able to tell that the dough has enough water when you can shape it into a ball, and it doesn't crumble when you pull the ball apart. When in doubt, add an extra tablespoon of water.
- Refrigerate the dough while you make the filling.
Make the Filling
- Combine chopped rhubarb, quartered strawberries, sugar, and corn starch in a bowl.
Make the Tarts
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Flour you rolling surface, then roll the dough out with a rolling pin until it is about ⅛ to ¼ inch link. Place the crust into the pan. You can use a tartlet pan, as I did, or use a full tart or pie pan. Whatever you have will work!
- Put the filling into the prepared crusts. Take care not to overfill, or the juices will run into the crust and make it soggy.
- Bake the tarts for 35-45 minutes, or until the crusts are golden brown. This may take longer for larger tarts. Determine when to take it out based on the golden brown color of the crust.
Make the Meringue
- While the tarts are baking, in a small pot, combine water and sugar by swirling them together. Do not stir. With a wet pastry brush, wet the sugar that remains undissolved on the side of the pan. This will prevent crystallization of the mixture later on.
- Heat on medium heat until the mixture reaches 240 degrees (AKA the soft ball stage), which you can determine using a candy thermometer or by using the visual cues linked in the guide above.
- While the sugar is heating, whip the egg whites in a separate bowl on low speed until foamy, with a stand mixer or a hand mixer. Add cream of tartar, then increase mixing speed to medium and whip until soft peaks form (visual cue guide linked). Wait until the sugar mixture is fully heated.
- When the sugar mixture reaches 240, immediately remove the pan from the heat. Turn the mixer on low, and slowly drizzle the hot sugar mixture into the egg whites. Once fully incorporated, increase mixer speed to medium and whip until stiff peaks form (visual cue guide linked).
Put It All Together
- Once you've taken the tarts out of the oven, spoon the meringue on top of the warm tarts, then caramelize the meringue. You can either do this with a kitchen torch, or you can preheat the oven to 450, place the oven rack towards the top of the oven, then bake until the meringue becomes slightly golden brown.
- Let cool for at least one hour, then dig in!
Did you make these mini strawberry rhubarb tarts? I want to know! Post it on social media, tag @battersandblessings, and add #battersandblessings so I can see your creation 🙂
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