Today we have a recipe inspired by this month’s book club selection, ORPHAN TRAIN, and created by chef Ingrid of Edible Tapestry. We thought it fitting to provide this for the She Reads book clubs that will meet throughout the month to discuss the novel. We hope you find the book and this dish equally delicious!
I’d intended to make a savory dish for May’s book selection as my last two guest posts were very sweet. The point of my collaboration with She Reads, however, is to create a recipe that is inspired by incidents in the book and the characters that they are centered around.
It was a dish from character Niamh’s own poignant culinary recollections that I decided must be the May recipe, despite the fact that I kept thinking someone really needed to cook that poor girl a dinner of fried chicken and mashed potatoes with creamed corn and collards. But the memory of her gram rolling yellow dough for a rhubarb tart while a goose roasted in the oven was such a source of comfort to her–the thing she uses to get through some difficult moments in Orphan Train. Her life, filled with strife from an early age, moves from one period to another with very few moments of tranquility. All she wants is to feel to safe. This vision of Gram bustling around her kitchen in County Galway momentarily calmed her and was the perfect inspiration for this recipe.
I was stubborn about this idea of mine. Rhubarb has been hard to find. The farmers in our area tell me it won’t be ready until next week. But one, Jane from Garnet Creek Road, said hers was ready and available for purchase. Look at these beautiful stalks.
I added a cup of diced strawberries for sweetness and color, but the rhubarb takes center stage in the tart, unlike the berry sweetness of a strawberry rhubarb pie. I used turbinado sugar which made a deep, rich burgundy filling. I loved the look and taste but white sugar would make a filling of a brighter color. For convenience, a prepared crust can be substituted for the Flaky Yellow Crust I have included in the recipe.
Flaky Yellow Crust:
1 c. all-purpose flour, plus additional flour for rolling
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
6 T butter, cut into pieces
1/2 tsp. white vinegar
1 egg yolk
2 T ice cold water
3 c. fresh rhubarb, sliced into half inch pieces
1 c. fresh, diced strawberries
2 c. sugar
Pinch of salt
1 T all-purpose flour
1 T butter
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all filling ingredients.
Bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Cook 20 minutes until thickened and reduced, stirring frequently.
To make the crust, sift together the salt, sugar, and flour in a medium sized mixing bowl.
Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles lumpy beach sand.
Add the egg yolk, vinegar, and water.
Mix just until the dough comes together. It happens very quickly. Over-mixing will make a tougher dough. Pat the dough into a flattened circle on a floured surface.
Dust the surface with flour. Roll into a circle large enough to fit inside a tart dish or pan.
Roll the dough up on the rolling pin to transfer.
Unroll it into the tart pan.
Fold the excess edges under to form a thick crust or trim it off.
Prick the bottom of the dough.
When the filling is ready, pour it into the prepared crust.
Bake for 35 minutes.
Cool 30 minutes at room temperature, then chill thoroughly before serving to allow the filling to firm.