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I like the elegance that a tart brings to the table. However, if I can find a way to avoid making a rolled crust, I'm a happy woman. So when the rhubarb in my garden began calling to me in May, I started thinking about how to make something "tart-like" without a pastry crust.
My thoughts led me to tweak a tried and true favorite in my home: the crumb crust. The one I ended up using in the recipe below is largely based on my favorite topping for fruit crisp and is really quite simple to make. While you could make a larger batch of it and use it for a topping as well, I think there's something to be said for making a topping that includes a touch of butter and avoids additional chopped pecans -- too many can end up being overwhelming. Layer between those two treasures a filling that consists mainly of stewed rhubarb, and you've got a dessert that's both elegant and delicious. Better yet, it's easy to put together!
As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!
To make the crust, combine all of the crust ingredients in a bowl and toss together to mix. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of a 10-inch tart pan sprayed with cooking spray. (If you do not have a tart pan, you can also use a 10-inch spring form pan.)
To make the filling, combine the rhubarb, sugar, orange zest and vanilla in a saucepan and heat over medium high heat, stirring frequently to avoid burning. When the mixture begin to bubble slightly, combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and add to the fruit stirring constantly until the mixture is thickened and the rhubarb is softened. Using a spatula, spread the fruit filling over the prepared crust.
To make the topping, combine all of the topping ingredients in a bowl and toss together to mix. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the filling and bake the tart for 30 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven. Cool the tart for about 10 minutes, carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan and remove the collar. Cool completely before serving. Add a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.