Chef Curtis Stone’s cozy, new LA restaurant, Maude, is a celebration of seasonal eating. Each month, Stone and his team, hailing from such illustrious backgrounds as the French Laundry and el Bulli, select just one of the season’s most signature ingredients and explore every delicious angle of it in a nine-course tasting menu as delicious as you might imagine. Seasonal eating is a great rule of thumb for healthy living, but it also gives us a delicious sense of connectedness to the world around us. Maude’s star ingredients provide exactly the feeling you’re after each season: the freshness of pea tendrils and snow pea pods in April, truffles nine ways in December, and, this month, the unique sweetness of rhubarb that signals the nearness of summer.
We’re obsessed with rhubarb lately and clearly we’re not the only ones. This insanely simple rhubarb tart with cinnamon ice cream by Chef Curtis is pitch perfect for a warm May evening. Make the tart (or a reservation) for the kind of culinary experience best suited to this particular time of year...
My mum grows rhubarb in her garden, so I have always had a soft spot for it. I think it has a lovely tart taste that is perfectly matched with something sweet and a little spicy – the honey and cinnamon ice cream is the perfect complement. Alternatively, buy some good-quality vanilla ice cream and soften it a little. Mix some ground cinnamon and honey into it and serve.
Rhubarb Tarte Fine with Honey and Cinnamon Ice Cream
For the ice cream:
1 cup whipping cream
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 1/2 Tbsp superfine sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 whole clove, crushed
7 free-range egg yolks
1/2 cup honey
For the tarte:
7 ounces puff pastry
6 rhubarb stalks, very finely sliced on the diagonal
To prepare the honey and cinnamon ice cream:
Put the cream and 1 cup of the milk in a large saucepan. Add the sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg and clove. Place over moderate heat, and bring to just below the boiling point.
In a bowl, beat the remaining milk with the egg yolks and honey until smooth. Add the milk mixture, whisking constantly. Pour everything back into the saucepan and return to the heat. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened. Strain into a shallow bowl and chill.
Once cold, transfer the mixture to an ice-cream machine and churn until semi-set. Remove and freeze.
To prepare the tarte:
Preheat the oven to 400°F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to a thickness of about 1/4-inch. Cut out a neat circle 8-inches in diameter and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
Using a sharp knife, make even cuts 1/4-inch long right around the perimeter of the pastry. Fill the tart by arranging the rhubarb slices on top in a circular pattern. Place a piece of parchment paper over the tart, followed by a second baking sheet to weigh down the rhubarb.
Transfer to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the pastry is golden (it doesn’t puff because of the weight) and the rhubarb is cooked.
Cut into quarters and serve each with a scoop of honey and cinnamon ice cream.