Thursday, June 5, 2008

Rhubarb Flan

So, there were some good things but also some not so good things with this flan. Firstly, I do love rhubarb I grew up on the stuff. I love the way it eats the enamel off your teeth, and the way it pairs with apples and vanilla ice cream. However, I did have some issues with this recipe - namely it felt disjointed. The base, the rhubarb and the meringue layer on top didn't feel united. There are things I will use again - specifically the base (I loved LOVED the combo of almonds and amaretto cookies as they soaked up the juices and gave a fabulous texture to the whole thing), but I won't be making this flan again, as the flavors just didn't feel 'right'.

Ingredients: Base
150g all-purpose flour
1 pinch baking powder
50g sugar
100g soft butter

Ingredients: Topping
1 cup ground almonds
2/3 cup amaretto cookie crumbs
3 pounds fresh rhubarb washed and cut into 2-inch pieces
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Ingredients: Meringue
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar

Method: Shortcrust base
1. line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and preheat the oven to 400F.

2. In a bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.

3. Add the other ingredients.

4. Using a hand mixer, mix until the dough is formed.

5. Roll the dough out to fit your baking sheet.

6. Prick with a fork, and bake in the preheated oven for 10 min.

7. Let cool.

Method: Topping
1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Combine the ground almonds and amaretto cookie crumbs together and sprinkle on top of the shortcrust base.

3. Arrange the rhubarb on top of the crumbs.

4. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon and then sprinkle over the top of the rhubarb.

5. Place in the preheated oven, bake for 25-35 min (you want the rhubarb to feel soft to the touch and the sugar to have mostly disintegrated).

6. Let cool.

Method: Meringue
1. Beat the egg whites with the sugar until stiff.

2. Spoon into a pastry bag with a star tip and pipe meringue in a lattice pattern over the rhubarb.

3. Bake for 10 min in the 350F oven.
Taken from a couple of books: Dr.Oektker (shortcrust pastry) "German Baking Today" p. 68. The flan itself came from another book - I have to find the name of it as I borrowed it from my boss at work...

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