My cousin Angie was in town visiting over the weekend, and the day she arrived I picked her up from the airport and immediately whisked her off to the Chez Panisse Cafe for lunch. Everything was delicious. And my favorite part, of course, was dessert. We shared a rhubarb tart with strawberry ice cream, and it was such a perfect combination. I often see rhubarb-strawberry combinations in pie form, but I've never thought of having those same flavors in separate components served together.
Later on in the weekend, I decided to attempt a rhubarb tart, inspired by the one we'd had at Chez Panisse. I made my favorite Martha pie crust recipe (which is just flour, salt, sugar, butter, and ice water), and pressed it into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Then I sliced my rhubarb stalks into skinny batons, and tossed them with flour, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Finally I arranged them nicely on top of my prepared tart dough, and baked it at 350 F for a little over an hour.
I loved the way it looked when it came out of the oven ... the pattern from the rhubarb, the beautiful pink color, and the look of the crust dotted with sanding sugar that I had sprinkled on before baking ... and it smelled great too!
When I served a slice of the cooled tart with a scoop of the strawberry whipped cream, we decided that the tart alone was a bit too tart, but with the strawberry whipped cream it was perfect!