My rhubarb crumble tart is a juicy shortbread tart warmed up with vanilla bean and a buttery oatmeal crumble topping. After you make it for Mom this Mother’s Day, be sure to freeze some rhubarb so you can make it all year long.
friends ~ this rhubarb crumble tart recipe is an absolute must make!
I’ve been enjoying a string of baking successes here at tvfgi. It isn’t always that way, though. I can go through stretches where nothing seems to work out. But one of the secrets to nailing a great recipe is to use a trusted recipe as a base. It’s a little bit of extra security that the new one will be a winner.
I absolutely loved this tart, and it’s based on my Tangerine Shortbread Tart with Fresh Rosemary, which I also loved. The crust/crumble dough is outstanding, and is definitely worth your time. Once you’ve made it once or twice you’ll start to play around with it like I did. There are endless creative possibilities. But promise me you’ll try this one!
lemon lovers will appreciate the tart flavor of rhubarb
I’m a lemon fanatic, and rhubarb is the only other fruit (vegetable, technically!) that matches the tangy mouthwatering flavor you get with a great lemon dessert.
I’m always looking for ways to showcase it, without adding strawberries or other distractions. In this case the buttery shortbread and the soft vanilla flavor balance out the tartness of the rhubarb and combine to make one amazing taste. It’s one of the best ways to enjoy the unique flavor of rhubarb I’ve had in a long while.
- rhubarb ~ you’ll need about 1/2 pound of trimmed rhubarb, which will make about 2 heaping cups, thinly sliced.
- sugar ~ balances the tartness of the rhubarb and brings out the lovely flavor.
- butter ~ unsalted, and at room temperature. If you’re stuck with cold butter, check out my guide to Quickly bring cold ingredients to room temperature for baking.
- rolled oats
- vanilla ~ I use vanilla bean paste, but you can use extract.
- Instant Clearjel thickener, or cornstarch ~ rhubarb has a high water content and needs a thickener.
assembling a rhubarb crumble tart
The assembly of this shortbread tart is super easy because the same dough that makes the bottom crust also becomes the crumble, so it’s all made at the same time. I mix some rolled oats into the topping portion before crumbling it over the rhubarb. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
- Mix up the shortbread dough, I like to use my stand mixer but you can do it with electric beaters, or by hand (just make sure your butter is soft to start with.)
- Pat part of your dough into the pan as your bottom crust.
- Top with your rhubarb.
- Crumble the remaining dough on top. Easy peasy!
runny fruit fillings can ruin a great dessert
The tart bakes up beautifully, with a thick gorgeously colored filling and buttery pastry. I had no runny fruit or soggy bottom thanks to a new product I’ve discovered ~ Instant Clearjel.
It’s a thickening agent that’s like cornstarch only much more effective. I’m planning to use it all summer long with my fruit pies, crisps, and crumbles. I was amazed at the results and I’m excited to bake with it this season. Btw, this isn’t sponsored, I’m just over the moon about it 🙂
how to freeze rhubarb (so you never run out!)
Rhubarb is a use-it-or-lose-it kind of thing. It’s only in season from April through June, and after that, it’s gone til next year. When you see it, stock up, and then freeze the extra for rhubarb treats later in the year. You’ll be so glad you did.
- Wash and dry the rhubarb. Trim the ends off. Slice the stalks into 1/2 inch pieces. If your stalks are wide, slice the whole stalk lengthwise, then cut into pieces.
- Place the rhubarb slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment or plastic. Keep them in a single layer.
- Put the pan into the freezer until frozen solid, about 30 minutes to an hour.
- Put the frozen rhubarb in heavy freezer zip lock bags. Lay the bag flat on the counter, close it most of the way, and then insert a straw into the bag and suck out any remaining air. Zip closed.
- Label your bag and use your rhubarb within one year.
- You can use the rhubarb frozen in baked recipes, smoothies, and sauces, etc., so skip the thawing.
a staple in the Great Island kitchen: a 9″tart pan with removable bottom
My tart pans get a workout in my kitchen. I use them for desserts but also for savory tarts and quiches. The removable bottom allows you cut and serve them nicely. I also have a cake lifter, which allows you to slide the tart off the bottom of the pan, too. I do that extra step because I don’t like the metal plate showing when I slice my tarts.
Tart pans come in various dimensions, but if you had to pick just one, I suggest the 9 inch, it’s a good basic size.
feeding our rhubarb obsession…
- Easy Rhubarb Breakfast Cake
- Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Jelly
- Perfect Rhubarb Muffins
- Salad Cups with Rhubarb Vinaigrette
- Gluten Free Rhubarb Crisp with Cardamom and Vanilla
- Rhubarb and Greek Yogurt Popsicles
Rhubarb Crumble Tart
- 9 inch tart pan
- 2 heaping cups thinly sliced rhubarb Note: if your rhubarb is thick, slice the whole stalk lengthwise and then chop
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 Tbsp Instant Clearjel thickener, or substitute cornstarch
crust and crumble topping
- 1 cup unsalted butter (two sticks) at room temperature
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste, you can also use extract, or the seeds of a vanilla bean
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3 Tbsp rolled oats, for the crumble topping
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Have a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom ready.
- Toss the rhubarb with the rest of the filling ingredients in a bowl, mix well, and set aside.
- Cream the soft butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla paste and salt. Note: it's important that your butter be at room temperature. I like to leave it out overnight when I know I'll be baking.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour and mix just until there is no dry flour left. Don't over mix.
- Take 2/3 of the dough and pat it into the bottom of your tart pan. I like to scatter the dough in crumbles across the bottom, and then start to pat it down. It helps to flour your fingers, or use the bottom of a metal measuring cup to tamp it down. Take the time to get the dough evenly distributed. Note: you're not looking to go up the sides of the pan with the dough, just to make an even flat layer. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
- Mix the remaining dough with the rolled oats, breaking it apart with your fingers to make coarse crumbles.
- Arrange the rhubarb on top of the bottom crust. Top evenly with the crumbled dough. It’s fine if some of the rhubarb shows through.
- Set the tart pan on a baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes, or until the top is just starting to turn pale golden. I usually lay a sheet of foil loosely over the top for the second half of baking so it doesn’t brown too much.
- Let the tart cool for 15 minutes on a rack before releasing the bottom from the sides. Finish cooling on the rack.
- When cool slice the tart into 8 or 10 slices. Serve as is, or with some lightly sweetened whipped cream.
- You can substitute a good gluten free baking mix for the flour.
- You can use part oat flour for flavor and tenderness in the dough.
- You can mix in strawberries if you like, or blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc.
- Use almond extract in place of the vanilla.