Dessert Island Dishes (3) – Rambunctious Rhubarb and Ginger Tarte Tatin

Tradition says that this dessert was created by accident at the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, France, in 1898. The hotel was run by two sisters, Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin.

Stéphanie Tatin, who did most of the cooking, was overworked one day. She started to make a traditional apple pie but left the apples cooking in butter and sugar for too long. Smelling the burning, she tried to rescue the dish by putting the pastry base on top of the pan of apples, quickly finishing the cooking by putting the whole pan in the oven. After turning out the upside down tart, she was surprised to find how much the hotel guests appreciated her dessert.

Half pkg (397 g) frozen puff pastry, defrosted (or pastry for 1-crust pie)
3/4 cup (175 mL) granulated sugar
5 cups (1.25 L) chopped (1-1/2 inch/4 cm pieces) Ontario Rhubarb
2 tbsp (25 mL) all-purpose flour
2 tbsp (25 mL) each of butter and water
1/3 cup (75 mL) minced crystallized ginger

1. On a floured surface, roll out pastry into circle slightly larger than medium ovenproof skillet; set aside. In large bowl, toss together 2 tbsp (25 ml) of the sugar, rhubarb and flour; set aside.
2. Place remaining sugar, butter and water in medium ovenproof skillet; cook over medium heat, stirring often, until sugar melts and mixture begins to bubble. Simmer gently, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Sprinkle ginger evenly over sugar mixture.
3. Arrange rhubarb in decorative pattern on sugar mixture (pie will be inverted to serve). Sprinkle any remaining flour mixture in bowl over rhubarb. Place pastry over rhubarb in pan; trim to fit. Cut steam vent in pastry. (Tarte can be assembled to this point 1 hour ahead.)
4. Bake in 425°F (220°C) oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until pastry is browned and rhubarb mixture is bubbly. Let cool in pan for 5 to 10 minutes.
5. Loosen pastry edge; carefully invert tarte onto serving platter. Scrape rhubarb pieces stuck to pan on top. Serve warm with clotted cream.


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