Springtime Delight: Rhubarb Puff-Tart Pockets

Rhubarb Puff-Tart Pockets (Wendy Goodfriend)

Like a pop-tart, only way better, these light-as-air puff pastry tartlets are stuffed with vanilla-scented rhubarb compote.

One of my all-time favorite fruits has to be rhubarb. (Yes, yes, it is botanically a vegetable but everyone uses it as a fruit.) And these puff tarts – kinda like pop-tarts only way better – have to be one of my all-time favorite ways to eat it. Gently simmered and perfumed with vanilla bean, the rhubarb compote is stuffed into flaky, buttery puff pastry then baked until the pastry is shatter-crisp and golden brown on the outside and the hidden tart-sweet fruit bubbles on the inside.

I recommend seeking out a great-quality, all-butter puff pastry such as Dufour, which you can typically find at Whole Foods or other upscale markets. Some bakeries will also sell it by the pound, such as La Farine Bakery in Rockridge.

You may end up with more rhubarb than you need but it’s great spooned over plain yogurt, pound cake, or vanilla ice cream. Use the juice to make rhubarb sodas or as a simple syrup in a cocktail.

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Also, when it’s not in season, feel free to swap out the rhubarb for other fruits: berries, peaches, nectarines, apples, or pears all make superb puff tarts!

Rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (Wendy Goodfriend)

Recipe: Rhubarb Puff-Tart Pockets

Makes 8 tarts

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 lbs (about 4–5 stalks) rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • About 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1 lb puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

Instructions:

    1. Using a paring knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with the back of the knife. Add the rhubarb, sugar, and vanilla bean seeds and pod to a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb releases its juices and becomes tender but still holds its shape, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely. (You may have more than you need; store any remaining in an airtight container for up to 1 week.)

    1. Line two baking sheets with parchment. On a lightly floured work surface roll out the puff to a rectangle just larger than 10-by-20-inches. Trim the edges to 10-by-20-inches. Cut out eight 5-inch squares (or, if you cut out 8 rectangles, that’s fine too). Place the squares on one baking sheet and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

    1. Space the racks are equally in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400F.
    2. Moving quickly, remove the puff from the refrigerator. For each turnover, using a slotted spoon and letting the juices drain back into the bowl, place a few tablespoons rhubarb in the center of the square. Brush two sides of the dough with the egg wash and fold over into a rectangle (you can also fold it into a triangle if it’s a perfect square). Crimp the edge with a fork and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with all 8 turnovers, placing 4 on each baking sheet. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes.

    1. Brush with the egg wash, pierce the top a few times with a fork or make cuts with a knife, sprinkle with the turbinado sugar, and bake until nicely browned and puffy, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then dig in!

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Rhubarb Puff-Tart Pockets
Rhubarb Puff-Tart Pockets (Wendy Goodfriend)

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