Rhubarb Tart

Rhubarb is usually cooked in double-crust pies, but I like to show off its rosy color in an open tart. In this recipe you can trim the crust and crimp it, or simply fold the extra dough back over the fruit for a more rustic look. If you prefer a traditional top crust, simply double the sweet pastry dough recipe. Be sure to use a regular pan rather than a false-bottom pan. Use another combination of spices if you wish.

Serves 6.

1 cup or more sugar (more for field rhubarb)
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1 tablespoon preserved ginger, diced
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1½ pounds rhubarb stalks, trimmed and cut into ½-inch slices
1 sweet pastry shell fitted in a 9-inch pie pan, uncooked (see

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Put the sugar in a medium-size bowl with the tapioca, preserved ginger, ground ginger and allspice and mix well. If you are using field rather than hothouse rhubarb, you may want to add ¼ or ½ cup more sugar.

Add the rhubarb slices and toss to mix them with the sugar and spices. Set aside for 15 minutes or more, until the sugar begins to draw out the juices.

Pile the rhubarb mixture into the pastry shell, arranging the top to show off the pink color.

Fold the extra overhanging dough back onto the tart filling, or trim and crimp it if you wish.

Put the pan on a baking sheet and bake the tart for about 1 hour, until the crust is golden and the rhubarb tender.

Cool the tart on a wire rack; the juices will thicken as they cool.

Serve warm or at room temperature with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or fresh thick cream passed alongside in a pitcher.