I was looking at the June 2010 issue of Living magazine and there was a delicious looking fig and strawberry tart inside. I decided to use this recipe as a guide for my strawberry rhubarb dessert.
Until you have a family member with a severe food allergy you will never know how hard it is to keep them safe. I did not either until I found out that my daughter is severely allergic to peanuts - I learned the hard way. Having said that, I really appreciate my friends who remember about my daughter's condition and care about what kind of food they cook when they invite us over, especially for potlucks. It means a lot to me.
A lot of cereals, cookies, bread, and kid snacks have both tree nuts, peanuts, or both as an ingredient. Even when they don't have these ingredients in them, a lot of them are made in a facility that processes peanut and tree nuts.
I was afraid to feed my daughter until I learned to live with the food allergy. I was frustrated at times because it was hard for us to go out and eat spontaneously. I also felt sorry for my daughter and of course blamed myself thinking it was because I ate a lot of peanut butter or simply my fault for giving her bad genes in the first place.
Ok, back to the strawberry rhubarb tart. I was trying to think of a hazelnut substitute and immediately chickpeas came to mind. I know it's a little unconventional, but bear with me for a moment.
First I needed chickpeas in an easy to use form, like a flour, so I turned to Whole Foods. I found them but of course it was made in a facility that uses tree nuts so I bought dried chickpeas. I thought that I could grind them at home by myself, big mistake. They are incredibly hard when they are completely dry and ungrindable. I happend to have canned chickpeas so I decided to use them instead. I used a food processor to chop them finely. They were pretty moist so I put them on a pan and dry roasted them. I hoped they would be a good replacement for hazelnuts. Here is the end result photo.
Now, you can't tell from the photo but I burned the tart little....and in my attempt to hide it I sprinkled chopped strawberries and mint leaves from my garden all over for a nice touch of color.
Here is the recipe of my peanut and tree nut free Strawberry Rhubarb Tart adopted from Martha Stewart Living Magazine June 2010 issue, Fig and Strawberry Tart.
- 1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp of sugar and salt
- 1 stick of cold butter cut in small pieces
- 1/4 cups (or more if you want, but I really needed only 1/4) of cold water
For the filling:
- 3/4 cups of finely chopped (almost flour like) canned and drained chickpeas
- 1/2 cup of packed light brown sugar
- 2 tbs of sugar
- 1/2 tsp of lemon zest
- 1 stick of butter cut into small pieces
- 2 tbs of rum
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 2 tbs ofpotato starch (corn starch is fine too)
- 8 oz of strawberries (halved)
- 2 stalks of rhubarb (chopped in 1/2 inch pieces - next time I will use more)
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Make the crust: In a food processor, pulse flour and sugar together, then add butter and pulse until butter becomes the size of peas. Add water and pulse until the dough starts to hold together.
- Take out the dough and make a disc. Refrigiate it for at least 1 hour. (I am impatient remember? I only put it in for 30 minutes and it was fine).
- Roll the dough to make it fit your tart pan. (usually it is 9 or 10 inches round)
- Poke the bottom of the tart crust and then put aluminum foil and pie weights and put them in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove weights and bake 5 more minutes or so.
- Let it cool. Leave the oven on.
Make the filling:
- Mix strawberries and rhubarb with lemon zest.
- Using a food processor, chop chickpeas finely and then dry roast them in a pan on the stovetop.
- Mix eggs, butter, sugar, brown sugar, rum, potato starch in a food processor. Then add the chickpeas.
- Pour the filling in the cooled crust and spread evenly. (Since my filing was too moist, I did not spread much. At this point I should have known that my filling would be too moist).
- Top with strawberries and rhubarb.
- Bake for 30 minutes and then decrease the temperature to 325. Bake about 1 more hour. I ate with unsweetened whipped cream since the tart itself was really sweet.
Making this strawberry rhubarb tart was also a good excuse to use this beautiful handpainted porcelain mold I bought from anthropologie store long time ago. It added a little extra authenticity to what was a somewhat unconventional recipe. Bon Appetit!