Tarte à la Rhubarbe

Tarte à la Rhubarbe is the queen of summer tarts! Even though this tart is made with simple ingredients, the flavor payoff is big when you use ripe, in-season rhubarb. Learn how to make tarte rhubarbe with helpful step-by-step photos.

tarte à la rhubarbe on a white plate with a pink backdrop and rhubarb slices in the background

Rhubarb has captivated my tastebuds ever since I tried a Célèste macaron at Pierre Hermé in Paris. It’s delicious on its own, but rhubarb is especially good when combined with vanilla, almond, strawberry, raspberry, or passion fruit.

If you are unfamiliar with baking with rhubarb, I hope this recipe gives you the guidance you need. And I hope you come to enjoy eating rhubarb desserts as much as I do, because it’s unlike any other flavor you’ll experience.

What’s in Tarte à la Rhubarbe?

My rhubarb tart consists of sweet shortcrust pastry, a hint of raspberry preserves, rhubarb filing, and frangipane. Unlike the traditional “tarte a la rhubarbe alsacienne,” my recipe does not use custard. This is my own creation, and it’s perfectly delightful!

Ingredients

For the Pâte Sucrée

egg, all-purpose flour, cake flour, powdered sugar, butter, and kosher salt in bowls for pate sucree

Unsalted butter—Use unsalted, room-temperature butter so that the dough comes together easily. Cold butter is more difficult to work with, so bring the butter to 65 F for optimal results.

Powdered sugar (icing sugar)—This sugar adds a hint of sweetness and helps the crust to stay tender. Powdered sugar dissolves quicker than granulated sugar, making it the optimal choice for my crust recipe.

Egg—If you are new to weighing ingredients, see my photos below of how to weigh an egg. The egg acts as a binding agent for the other ingredients, but you won’t use a full egg because a whole egg will cause the dough to become sticky.

All-purpose flour—Flour provides structure and helps the dough come together. When mixed, the dough will only be slightly sticky.

Cake flour (or pastry flour)—Adding cake or pastry flour creates the optimal tenderness for the crust. If you can’t find either type of flour, you can substitute all-purpose, but I recommend using cake flour when possible.

Kosher Salt—Salt is essential for balancing the tart’s sweetness. Use Morton’s kosher salt, not table salt.

Rhubarb Filling

rhubarb filling ingredients in bowls, including strawberries, rhubarb, vanilla bean paste, water, granulated sugar, and cornstarch

Rhubarb—A tarte à la rhubarbe wouldn’t be what it is without the rhubarb. Buy thin stalks if possible because they are less stringy and fibrous. The most important thing is to weigh the rhubarb so you have the correct amount of filling.

Strawberries—This recipe calls for only 1-2 large strawberries, but strawberries are essential. They complement the rhubarb without being overpowering.

Granulated Sugar—I choose to keep the sugar level low for the rhubarb filling because the contrast of the rhubarb’s tartness with the sweet frangipane is perfect. You can use castor sugar if you don’t have granulated on hand. The amount of sugar is the same whether it’s granulated or castor.

Vanilla Bean Paste—Vanilla bean paste pairs perfectly with rhubarb, but it’s not meant to be the featured flavor. You’ll use a small amount, but don’t skip it because the vanilla gives this tart more depth of flavor.

Water—Water is necessary to cook and simmer the rhubarb and strawberries.

Raspberry Jam—While this ingredient is an undertone of the dessert, it’s essential to use high-quality raspberry jam or preserves. This is my favorite brand.

Frangipane

ingredients for frangipane in bowls, inclduing egg, almond emulsion, granulated sugar, almond flour, and butter

Unsalted butter—Use room-temperature butter and cream it well. Butter is essential for creating this creamy, almond filling.

Granulated sugar—Adds sweetness to the frangipane.

Egg—The egg acts as a binding agent and helps the frangipane to “set” as it bakes.

Almond flour—This flour is gluten-free and is essential for creating frangipane filling.

Almond emulsion—I prefer emulsions over extracts because of their pure flavor. The almond emulsion helps to highlight the almond flavor.

the top view of the tarte à la rhubarbe showing off beautiful red rhubarb stalks and golden frangipane.

Is it Tarte à la Rhubarbe or Tarte Rhubarbe?

This is more for your info and is a bit of fun knowledge. The proper name is tarte à la rhubarbe, which means “rhubarb pie,” in English.

However, I have seen the name of this dessert shortened to tarte rhubarbe, which literally translates to rhubarb tart. In France, a tarte is their version of pie. They don’t typically makes American style pies.

So even though this is a tarte rhubarbe in the way we think about it in America, the dessert name need “à la” inserted to be correct.

How to Weigh Out Part of an Egg

While many Europeans are familiar with weighing ingredients, using a scale can seem intimidating to those who grew up using cups.

The pictures below show how to weigh out part of an egg, which is necessary for the tart crust and the frangipane. A scale makes baking easier because it’s precise. If you are “scale-resistant,” stop resisting and give it a try!

You’ll become a better baker just by switching to grams, which is a more precise measuring method than cups.

fork beating an egg in a bowl
1. Lightly beat a large egg with a fork.
Pouring par of an egg into a bowl on a scale to weigh out 30 grams
2. Pour egg into a bowl on a scale to weigh 25 grams.

How to Make Tarte à la Rhubarbe

Make the Tart Crust

  1. Cream butter and powdered sugar together.
  2. Add egg and cream.
  3. Add dry ingredients in 2 additions, and mix to combine.
  4. Roll out the dough to a 12-inch circle and place it in a 9.5-inch tart pan. Press the dough into the tart pan. Trim off excess dough.
  5. Prick with a fork and freeze for 45 minutes.
  6. Line the frozen shell with parchment paper and add pie weights. Bake at 350 F/175 C for 25 minutes. Remove the parchment liner and weights, bake for 5 more minutes, and remove from oven to cool.
butter and powdered sugar in a stand mixer bowl for sweet shortcrust pastry for tarte à la rhubarbe
1. To make crust, combine butter and sugar and mix.
A mixing bowl with creamed butter and sugar, and egg on top.
2. Add egg and cream together.
Flour being poured into a mixing bowl to make tart dough
3. Add flour in two additions and mix to combine.
completed pate sucree dough for Tarte à la Rhubarbe
4. Finished pâte sucrée dough
hands using a rolling pin to roll out tart dough
5. Roll out tart dough to 12-inch circle on a floured surface.
dough folded in half in a tart
6. Carefully fold the dough in half and transfer it to a tart pan.
hand using a small pairing knife to trim off excess tart dough along the edge of the pan
7. Press the dough into the pan and trim off excess dough with a small pairing knife.
hand using a fork to prick the tart dough in the pan
8. Prick the bottom of the tart dough about every inch with a fork, then freeze the unbaked tart shell for 45 minutes.
an unbaked tart shell lined with parchment paper and pie weights before baking
9. Line the frozen tart shell with parchment and add pie weights. Bake for 30 minutes total at 350 F/175 C.
tart shell after being blind-baked for tarte à la rhubarbe
10. Remove pie weights and parchment, and cool the tart crust.

Make the Rhubarb Filling

  1. Cut rhubarb into 1/8-inch slices. Combine with strawberries, sugar, water, and vanilla in a medium-size pot and cook on medium heat until simmering, then cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Pour cooked rhubarb mixture into a blender and blend for 1-2 minutes, then add cornstarch and blend for a few seconds.
  3. Store in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or until needed to complete the tarte à la rhubarbe.
rhubarbe, strawberries, water, vanilla bean paste, and granulated sugar in a large pot, ready to cook
1. Combine rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, vanilla bean paste, and water in a medium pot.
Cooked strawberries and rhubarb in a medium pot to make the filling for tarte á la rhubarbe
2. Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat at a simmer to soften the fruit.
cornstarch being added to the rhubarb puree
3. Purée the cooked rhubarb and strawberries for 1-2 minutes. Add cornstarch to the puree and blend. Cool in fridge.
pureed rhubarb and strawberries in a blender jar
4. Cover and store in the fridge for at least 20 minutes or until needed.

Make the Frangipane

creamed butter and sugar
1. Cream butter and sugar with a hand mixer or stand mixer.
hand mixer mixing in egg for frangipane
2. Add egg and almond emulsion, and mix to combine.
Almond flour added to frangipane before mixing
3. Add almond flour and mix to combine.
completed frangipane in a bowl on a white backdrop, ready to use for the tarte à la rhubarbe
4. Completed frangipane.

How to Finish the Tart

  1. Spread jam on cooled tart crust.
  2. Add cooled rhubarb filling and spread with an offset spatula.
  3. Add frangipane and spread.
  4. Top with rhubarb as desired, and bake at 350 F/175 C for 35-45 minutes. Cool for at least 2 hours before serving.
hand using a spoon to spread raspberry jam in baked tart shell for tarte à la rhubarbe.
1. Spread raspberry jam along the bottom of the cooled tart shell.
spatula spreading rhubarb filling in tart shell
2. Add rhubarb filling and spread with an offset spatula or the back of a mixing spatula.
offset spatula spreading frangipane on top of rhubarb filling.
3. Spread frangipane on top of rhubarb filling to the edges of the crust.
hand adding rhubarb slices on top of tarte à la rhubarbe before baking
4. Add rhubarb on top and bake.

Baking Essentials for This Recipe

How to Prepare the Rhubarb for This Recipe

Rinse and dry the rhubarb because it almost always has some dirt on it from being grown. Trim off the leaves because they are poisonous to eat. If the leaves have already been removed before you purchase the rhubarb, great!

Trim off the top and bottom ends, and then use the remaining stalks for this tarte rhubarbe.

How to Avoid an Overflowing Tart

Wouldn’t it be frustrating to have your tart bubble up and overflow during baking? I worked tediously on this recipe to make sure the filling ratio was just right, so measure out the ingredients as specified in the recipe.

If you add the frangipane and it appears to be too full, then remove some of it. The frangipane should be level or just slightly lower than the top edge of the crust.

If the frangipane is higher than the crust’s edge, the filling may overflow as it bakes in the oven. And let me tell you, you do not want to clean up burned frangipane if you can avoid it!

slices of tarte rhubarbe on a white plate against a pink backdrop with a slice of rhubarb tart on a plate nearby

How to Prevent Sogginess

No one wants a soggy tart! At least, I don’t. One of the most important steps in this recipe is blind baking the tart crust.

When you blind bake the dough, the crust is sturdier and can better withstand the moisture from the rhubarb filling and frangipane.

Bake the crust until the sides are golden brown. This will help the crust retain its crispness once you add the fillings and bake your tarte a la rhubarbe.

Commonly Asked Questions about Tarte à la Rhubarbe

Is Rhubarb a Fruit?

As I was working on this recipe, it occurred to me that I couldn’t call this a “fruit” tart, or at least not 100%. Rhubarb is actually a vegetable, not a fruit.

Rhubarb is easy to confuse as a fruit, since we make desserts and pies with it. However, these beautiful red stalks are truly in the vegetable family.

Should Rhubarb be Red or Pink?

The color of rhubarb varies depending on how it is grown, but both pink and red stalks work for this recipe. Sometimes rhubarb is grown on farms, and other times it’s grown in a hot house during the winter months.

The color of rhubarb will be more pink if it is grown during winter when there is less light. Rhubarb will usually be more red in color if it’s grown during the warmer months of the year when there is more sunlight.

Can You Make This Tart Ahead?

In short, no. I don’t recommend making tarte à la rhubarbe ahead of time because it has a short shelf life. As with many cooked fruit tarts and pies, the crust tends to get soft within a day or two. I highly recommend making and eating this tart on the same day because it has the best texture on day one.

You can make the individual elements ahead of time, though. In other words, you can make the tart crust ahead of time and freeze it. The frangipane and rhubarb filling both store well in the fridge for up to a week before making the tart.

Pro Tip: If you want to eat the tart the next day, you can leave it uncovered at room temperature, and it will stay crisp(er) than if you cover it.

a slice of tarte rhubarbe on a white plate with a gold fork against a pink backdrop. The remaining tart is in the background.

Can You Freeze Tarte à la Rhubarbe?

No, you cannot freeze this tart because it will thaw and become soggy (eww). You can bake and then freeze the tart crust on its own until needed, but don’t freeze the tart once you add the fillings.

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Tarte à la Rhubarbe

tarte à la rhubarbe on a white plate with a pink backdrop and rhubarb slices in the background

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Make this tarte à la rhubarbe for the perfect summer dessert. This tart comes together in about 2 hours from start to finish. The combination of frangipane and rhubarb is perfect, especially with a hint of strawberry and raspberry to enhance the flavors.

  • Author: Camille
  • Prep Time: 60 minutes
  • Chill Time/Cool Time: 75 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Tarts
  • Cuisine: French

Ingredients

Units Scale

Sweet Crust Pastry

  • 113 g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 75 g powdered sugar
  • 25 g egg, room temp (beat one egg and weigh out 25 g)
  • 1/4 tsp Morton’s kosher salt
  • 135 g all-purpose flour
  • 30 g cake flour (substitute AP flour if you can’t find cake flour)

Rhubarb Filling

  • 200 g rhubarb
  • 60 g fresh strawberries (2-3 large strawberries, stem removed)
  • 30 g granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 120 ml water (1/2 c)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 85 g raspberry jam
  • Fresh rhubarb, 3-5 stalks, for cutting and arranging on top of tart

Frangipane Filling

  • 85 g almond flour
  • 85 g egg, room temp (a little less than 2 large eggs)
  • 85 g unsalted butter, room temp
  • 85 g granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp almond emulsion or extract

Instructions

To Make The Tart Crust

  1. Cream the butter and sugar on low in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
  2. Add the egg and mix until absorbed and creamy.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer in 2 additions, and mix on medium-low just until combined.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll** the dough into a 12-inch circle, then transfer to a 9.5-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently press the dough into the tart pan, and trim the excess dough off the edges with a paring knife.
  5. Prick the bottom of the tart crust with a fork about every inch (see photo above).
  6. Place the unbaked tart shell in the freezer for at least 45 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 F/ 175 C. Line the frozen tart shell with parchment and add pie weights (or rice) so the crust keeps its shape while baking.
  8. Bake for 25 minutes, remove pie weights and parchment, and bake for 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and cool (about 30 minutes to cool). Keep oven at 350 F / 175 C.

For the Rhubarb Filling

  1. Cut off the stems and ends of the rhubarb, then slice the stalks into approximately 1/8″ – 1/4″ slices. Next, cut the strawberries into quarters, and place both fruits in a medium pot along with the granulated sugar, vanilla bean paste, and water.
  2. Stir together, then place the pot on medium heat. Once the liquid comes to a simmer, cook for 5 minutes on medium heat, giving the pan a gentle shake a couple of times so the rhubarb and strawberries shift around to cook.
  3. Add the cooked mixture into a blender and blend for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the cornstarch to the blender, blend for a few seconds, and then transfer the puree to the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to cool, or until needed.

For the Frangipane

  1. With a hand mixer or stand mixer (and paddle attachment), cream the butter and granulated sugar together until smooth.
  2. Add the egg in 3 additions, mixing well after each one. Then add the almond emulsion and mix on low. Add the almond flour and mix until the frangipane is a spreadable consistency. If the frangipane is too stiff to spread, warm it in the microwave for 10 seconds to soften.

To Finish the Tarte à la Rhubarbe

  1. Spread the raspberry preserves on the bottom of the cooled tart crust.
  2. Next, add the rhubarb filling and spread with an offset spatula to fill half the tart shell.
  3. Add the frangipane on top of the rhubarb filling, and spread with an offset spatula.
  4. Cut off the ends of the 3-5 rhubarb stalks. Cut each stalk in half lengthwise, and then cut the pieces approx. 4.25″ long. Arrange on top of the frangipane as desired.
  5. Bake the tart for 35-45 minutes, or until the frangipane is golden brown on top and the center is set.
  6. Cool completely, about 2 hours, and serve. 
  7. Store your tarte à la rhubarbe uncovered at room temperature for up to 2 days. It’s best eaten on day 1 because the crust will soften by day two.

Notes

**If your dough is too soft or sticky, form it into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes before rolling.

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